He was accorded wam welcome at the Chaklala airport. The Chinese PM given guard of honour at his arrival. Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani welcomed the visiting faculty. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and service chiefs of the country were also present on the occasion.
CHINESE Prime Minister Wen Jiabao starts a landmark three-day official visit to Pakistan today (Friday) which is being seen as beginning of a new era in taking bilateral cooperation to new heights in different fields. Exchange of high-level visits between the two countries has become hallmark of their close interaction and the visit of the Chinese Premier comes in the wake of six visits to the friendly country by President Asif Ali Zardari and Beijing is expected to extend a formal invitation to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to visit China in the near future.
It is often said that 21st century is the century of Asia with China playing a lead role in progress and stability and with this in view the visit of Mr Wen Jiabao assumes greater importance, as it would help deepen the all-weather strategic relationship between the two countries. That China is destined to play this pivotal role in Asia has manifestly been proved from the successful visit of the Chinese leader to India where he held talks for boosting trade and easing the tension. And it is hoped that our great neighbor and friend would also play an effective role in reducing tension between Pakistan and India as the dream of regional stability would remain elusive without ensuring friction-free ties between the two countries and that in turn means resolution of the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Any how, it seems that the Government of Pakistan is well aware of the importance of the visit and has done the necessary preparatory work to make it result oriented. It also became evident from the fact that the chief executive of the country squeezed time to meet senior journalists on one point agenda of visit of the Chinese PM to Pakistan. The two sides are likely to sign over a dozen agreements or MoUs during the visit that would go a long way in consolidating cooperation in various fields to the mutual advantage. It is, however, worth mentioning that Pakistan and China have signed about sixty such agreements during the last two years but the pace of implementation is somewhat slower mainly because of sluggish attitude of our leaders and bureaucracy. This is despite the fact that President Asif Ali Zardari has been holding regular meetings to ensure follow-up action on the understanding reached with China in different spheres of life. Chinese are eager to invest in mega projects like water reservoirs, exploitation of Thar Coal, expansion of Gwadar Port and establishment of energy plants but there are obstacles from our own side and we would urge the Government to remove them through concerted efforts at the highest level.