KARACHI - Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz confirmed what many already feared: a postponement of the Chinese President’s official visit to Pakistan later this month because of the current protests in Islamabad.

In a prepared statement given to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Aziz said, “The Chinese advance team which was here last week witnessed these disturbances and formed obvious conclusions about the unfortunate security situation created by these two parties.”

He also said an official statement declaring the postponement would be issued by both China and Pakistan, simultaneously. However, a spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that the Ministry had made no formal announcement of the visit in the first place. “So, there is no basis to say we are about to cancel anything,” the spokesperson said.

Sartaj Aziz was keen to point out that the decision was not to ‘cancel’ but to ‘postpone’.

“We are in touch with the Chinese government on possible dates so that we can redeem this situation and bring back the focus to the projects that were to be launched during the visit of the Chinese President,” he said.

Both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri, who have been leading the sit-ins in Islamabad since August 14, have denied any responsibility for the decision. “It is the government’s fault that it is unable to provide security to its own people, let alone the Chinese President,” Qadri said in a speech on Thursday.

On Thursday, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal angrily said in a speech that Pakistan has lost valuable investors because of the political situation.