Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan wants good relations with all its neighbours including India.
We want to maintain good relations with all our neighbours; China, Afghanistan, Iran and India, because for regional stability there is need for greater cooperation with each other, said Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in an interview with People’s Daily Online in Islamabad last month to mark the Chinese New Lunar Year of Dragon.
He said that Pakistan wants balance of trade with India as it will be beneficial for the stability of economy and will lead to ensure political stability.
“But at the same time we have some core issues with India and I have discussed in detail on several occasions with Dr. Manmohan Singh,” Gilani said.
The issues that need to be address with India included Kashmir and Water and in many other areas we want cooperation with each other, he asserted.
He said that Dr. Manmohan Singh has agreed to discuss all core issues including Kashmir.
The Prime Minister said that on the fringes of the recent summit of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) in Russia, he had separate meetings with Premier Wen Jiabao and the then Russian President and now Prime Minister Validimir Putin and discussed with them the economic cooperation.
For economic cooperation, the Prime Minister said that the SCO is very important forum.
Prime Minister Gilani further said that he also discussed with these leaders Pakistan’s keen desire to become permanent member of the SCO, the august body for which both leaders have agreed.
“The cornerstone of our foreign policy is China. The friendship is mutual respect and mutual interest. China is a time-tested and all-weather friend,” Gillani reiterated.
With the changing international and regional situation, the two countries will play more important role. They should further strengthen cooperation to promote regional stability.
He pointed out that with China we have multidimensional cooperation. We discuss several proposals in our bilateral meetings in the areas of energy, infrastructure development, land route connectivity, the expansion of Karakarrum Highway (KKH) and also rehabilitation of Ataabad lake, besides cooperating in many other areas including corporate sector like currency SWAP and opening up of bank branches.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan is playing an important role to root out the scourge of terrorism to ensure peace and stability in the region.
He said that he is grateful to the Chinese leadership as during difficult times, they have always supported the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan.
There is lot of commonality between the two countries, he said adding that we support each other on ragional and international forums.
He said that Pakistan China friendship has long history, in 1956-1957, his father who was member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan visited China with the IPU (Inter-parliamentary Union) delegation, at the time of Premier Zhou En-lai and Chairman Mao Zedong.
The long standing friendship stared under the leadership of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said adding that “he was the pioneer in
establishing friendship between China and Pakistan”, later Shaheed Benazir Bhutto also played an extremely important role as well as the subsequent governments.
Prime Minister Gilani said that he has very profound memories of his recent visits to China.
With the present Chinese leadership, Gilani said “we have got excellent relations” and we really respect views of China that Pakistan could play an important role in SCO.
He made it clear that Pakistan also wants to maintain d relations with US on the basis of mutual respect and mutual interest.
China’s flagship newspaper People’s Daily and its website People’s
Daily Online conducted exclusive interviews with Asif Ali Zardari, President of Pakistan and Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani, Prime Minister of Pakistan for Chinese Lunar New Year.
In 2011, China and Pakistan celebrated the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations, said Prime Minister Gilani.
The bilateral ties have withstood various tests. Both countries have enjoyed all-weather friendship during the past 60 years, which has yielded great dividends for the two peoples.
Once the notice of the interview was announced on People’s Daily Online, it caught widespread attention from Chinese netizens, who put forward thousands of topics and questions during quite a short time and sent their best wishes to Pakistani people on the website.