ISLAMABAD: Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Sherry Rehman has said that Pakistan and China accord high importance to bilateral relations and desire to further deepen ties for mutual benefit.
She expressed these views while talking to Acting Chinese Ambassador Zhao Lijian who called on her at the Parliament House on Friday.
Senator Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan and China have a history of friendship which was built by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Mao Tes-tung and both the countries have stood by each other and seen the vicissitudes of time.
She said that this historic friendship has remained beneficial for both in economic and strategic fields while initiatives like CPEC and BRI have added further impetus to bilateral relations between the two sides.
She said that the former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, former President Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto – Zardari always accorded Pak-China relations the highest priority, and that there’s a consensus in Pakistan across party lines in relations with China.
Rehman said that we hope that CPEC will generate more jobs at a very fast pace, more opportunities for Pakistani youth and expedite social and economic development.
Sherry Rehman appreciated the fact that the Chinese envoy was further proactive in consolidating the Pakistan and China friendship.
The Ambassador informed the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate about the projects initiated under CPEC and said that fourteen projects under CPEC have able to generate seventy thousand employment opportunities for the youth of Pakistan and more projects are in the pipeline which would further provide opportunities to the youth of the country in terms of jobs.
He said that locals are a priority in all the CPEC projects. Rehman also appreciated the fact that the envoy recognised that the PPP was instrumental in bringing CPEC to Pakistan with President Zardari and Chinese President Xi Jingping signing the agreements after a consistent period of economic diplomacy.
Senator Sherry Rehman also expressed her good wishes to the government and people of China and underscored the need for more parliamentary interaction to promote people to people contacts.