Home Latest News Besham Terror Attack Will Not Affect Pak-China Ties, Vows FO

Besham Terror Attack Will Not Affect Pak-China Ties, Vows FO

Spokesperson says proposal to resume trade with India under review, hails progress on trade talks with Afghanistan

by Staff Report
Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs

File photo

The Foreign Office on Thursday said the terrorist attack in Besham that led to the killing of six people, including five Chinese nationals, will not deter progress on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), or any other aspects of bilateral cooperation between the neighboring countries.

Addressing a weekly press briefing, spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch emphasized the resilience of the collaboration between Islamabad and Beijing. “Pakistan and China are close friends and brothers and we will continue to work together to develop CPEC and to promote our cooperation,” she said.

Earlier, China had similarly rejected any impact to its ties with Pakistan following the terrorist attack. “Our two countries are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. Our ironclad friendship is deeply rooted in the two peoples. No attempt to sabotage China-Pakistan cooperation will ever succeed,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lin Jian said while commenting on the Besham incident. He said China would “continue supporting Pakistan’s socioeconomic development and efforts to make lives better for its people, and we remain firm in our commitment to working with Pakistan in various fields and delivering more benefit to the two peoples.”

Referring to this statement, Baloch said Beijing’s reaction highlighted the strong bond and mutual understanding between both countries and regretted efforts by inimical forces to undermine CPEC and China-Pakistan collaboration. She said discussions between the countries were ongoing regarding the safety and security of Chinese nationals.

Separately, China’s Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Col. Wu Qian told a monthly briefing that the Chinese military was willing to work with the Pakistani side to “continuously enhance our capability of tackling various security risks and challenges, especially our ability to respond to terrorist attacks and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.” Describing bilateral ties as “ironclad,” he said Islamabad and Beijing were all-weather strategic cooperative partners, true friends and good brothers who share both good times and bad.

“Under the strategic guidance of the leaders of our two countries, our two militaries have maintained frequent and close high-level exchanges and achieved positive outcomes in areas including joint exercises and training professional exchanges, personnel training and equipment and technological cooperation,” the spokesperson added.

Foreign trade

In her press briefing, the FO spokesperson also confirmed that a proposal to resume trade between Pakistan and India was under consideration. Last week, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar had said Pakistan’s business community wishes to end restrictions on trade with India and he would review the matter. “Examination of such proposals is a regular exercise in the Government of Pakistan, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where we continue to consider all such requests and assess our policy,” said Baloch, while stressing there was no change to Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute.

The spokesperson also hailed the progress in trade discussions with Afghanistan, which were held from March 24-27 in Kabul. According to Commerce officials, the discussions encompassed a range of trade-related issues, including the potential establishment of a bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement; the implementation of a Temporary Admission Document for trade vehicle drivers; enhancements in multimodal air transit; and addressing the existing challenges in transit trade.

Baloch also called on Israel’s international partners to press it to adhere to a recently adopted U.N. Security Council resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire in Palestine and provision of aid to Palestinians. Noting that the conflict in Gaza had not subsided despite the adoption of the resolution, she said international intervention was essential to end the suffering of the Palestinian people.

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