ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday acknowledged China’s support in fight against terrorism and appreciated the role played by the neighbour-friend in this regard.

A Chinese delegation led by Chairman of National Committee of Chinese Peoples’ Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Mamnoon Hussain separately.

The premier deeply appreciated China’s diplomatic and material help against terrorism and said the visit will establish institutional linkages between the parliaments of Pakistan and China.

“Close cooperation between the two parliaments will contribute towards further strengthening the warm and friendly relations between Pakistan and China,” he added.

He recalled that the relations between the two countries were raised to an even higher level of “All Weather Cooperative Strategic Partnership” during the visit of President Xi Jinping to Pakistan in 2015.

“I am looking forward to my visit to China in May 2017 to participate in the ‘Belt and Road Forum’ at the invitation of President Xi Jinping,” he added.

The forum would provide an excellent opportunity for discussing important areas of connectivity, infrastructure, trade, finance, people-to-people exchanges and think-tanks cooperation, not only between Pakistan and China but with the wider world, added the PM.

The prime minister emphasised that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its related projects symbolise the people-centric approach of the two countries and their resolve for regional connectivity.

“The project has immense potential to boost up regional trade and businesses as well as bring the people of the region closer. Millions of people in our region would reap the benefits of this project,” he stressed.

Yu Zhengsheng expressed the hope that parliamentary exchanges between China and Pakistan would further strengthen the friendly ties between the two countries.

The Chinese delegation included CPPCC National Committee Vice Chairwoman Lin Wenyi, Secretary-General Zhang Qingli, Standing Committee Members Sun Gan and Sun Weidong, Chairman of the Committee for Handling Proposals Wang Taihua, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Zhao Lijian and Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin.

The meeting was also attended by Pakistan Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, Leader of House in Senate Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, Adviser to PM Sartaj Aziz, Senator Saleem Mandviwala, Fawad Hassan Fawad and other senior government officials.

President Mamnoon Hussain in his meeting with the Chinese delegation appreciated Beijing’s support to Islamabad against terrorism and extremism.

He said that indiscriminate actions against terrorist outfits including the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) have yielded positive results.

At the President House meeting, Mamnoon said that strong defence ties between the two neighbours will ensure peace and stability in the region.

He said that timely completion and implementation of projects under CPEC will usher in an era of prosperity and progress not only in Pakistan but also in the whole region.

The president said that there was unanimity in Pakistan that the CPEC will not only improve the economic condition of the country but also benefit the whole region.

He noted that other countries have also evinced keen interest in linking up with CPEC to reap dividends from the mega project.

The president said that that thousands of security personnel have been deployed for security of Chinese nationals working on various projects in Pakistan.

Mamnoon said Pakistan fully supports ‘One China Policy’ and backs China’s stance on Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and the South China Sea.