ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Tuesday condemned the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which is involved in terror activities in China, as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani assured the visiting Chinese foreign minister of his government's fullest support and cooperation in countering terrorism.

Similar views were expressed by President Asif Ali Zardari, who said militancy was a common enemy and should be defeated by joint efforts and mutual cooperation.

According to details, Gilani told Yang Jiechi that Pakistan was re-negotiating the parameters of relationship with the US on the basis of mutual interest and respect, sovereignty and national dignity, a statement from the PM office said.

Gilani underscored the importance of fast-track implementation of agreed projects in energy, mining, infrastructure, IT, telecom, agriculture and agro-based industries, engineering goods, railways, communication, finance and banking. The prime minister said he was grateful to China for releasing finances for the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro-Electric Plant by the EXIM Bank. He expressed the hope that the Second Joint Energy Group meeting in Islamabad would open new vistas of cooperation in the energy sector between both countries. Yang Jiechi reaffirmed his government's support for Pakistan's independence, territorial integrity and dignity, the statement said.

He said China had encouraged the US and India to promote relations with Pakistan and give due consideration to its legitimate demands.

Gilani expressed his confidence that the Chinese government would support Pakistan's endeavour to improve relations with India and the US.

The Chinese dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s stance on Tibet, Taiwan and Xingjian, and said his country would continue to enhance co-operation with Pakistan in the various fields.

About the Karakorum Highway, the foreign minister said China was ready to transport heavy machinery to deal with the landslides and open the strategic land route between China and Pakistan.

Yang Jiechi expressed the hope that the issues relating to Gwadar would soon be resolved, making the port operational at the optimum level. He said the financial institutions of China would give highest consideration to extension of assistance to Pakistan in sectors like energy, infrastructure and communication.

Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Water and Power Minister Syed Naveed Qamar and senior government officials were present during the meeting. On the other hand, President Asif Ali Zardari proposed establishment of trans-border economic zones for development and prosperity of Gilgit-Baltistan and western regions of China, while he also suggested an umbrella setup ‘Pakistan-China Power Corporation’ in the energy sector, which would include specialists and entities from all the fields.

Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar while briefing about the meeting at the Presidency, Zardari told the Chinese foreign minister that he was thankful the Chinese leadership for the unswerving and continued support to Pakistan's sovereignty, territorial integrity and multifaceted assistance at all hours of need.

He said Pakistani people highly valued their brotherly relations with China and were eager to learn from the Chinese experience of growth and development.

The president Pakistan was keen to translate traditional equation with China into economic terms and attaches great importance to enhancing economic and trade linkages.

He said the enhanced economic engagement of the two countries was an encouraging development and the two countries needed to fast-track implementation of mutually agreed projects for the mutual benefit of the people.

While expressing with satisfaction over the increased bilateral trade, the president remarked that there was still a great margin, which could be explored for further enhancing the trade volume.

Zardari said China might send frequent purchase missions to Pakistan to help reduce the current trade imbalance.

Terming the conclusion of bilateral currency swap agreement a major development, the president said the decision of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) decision to open its branches in Pakistan was another positive development to enhance trade and investment.

Zardari said Pakistan was passing through a challenging phase in the energy sector. “We greatly appreciate Chinese assistance and investment in the energy sector.”

On the situation prevailing in the region, the president said Pakistan as an important player and China as a source of region stability had a great role to play in promoting regional stability and development.

Zardari said Pakistan fully endorsed China's call for the SCO and existing multilateral mechanisms to play their full role in the region for promoting peace, stability and development.

Speaking on the occasion, the Chinese foreign minister reiterated his country’s firm commitment and support safeguarding Pakistan's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, adding that China would continue to support Pakistan on all regional and international platforms.

Online adds: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, reportedly, declined going to Karachi to meet President Zardari, thus forcing him rush to Islamabad.

According to well-placed sources, the meeting between the high-profile Chinese delegation was initially scheduled at Islamabad.

"Due to the president' demanding engagements in Karachi, he had desired to meet the Chinese delegation in the provincial capital of the country," the sources told Online on Tuesday.

"However, the delegation expressed its inability to travel to Karachi and insisted on the venue and time earlier finalised,” the sources added.

The president, the sources said, immediately decided to move to Islamabad for the convenience and expressing level of commitment Pakistan attaches to the friendly country.

Presidential Spokesman Farhatullah Babar in an SMS reply to Online's question stated, "The meeting was scheduled (to be held) in Islamabad."

Pakistan censures anti-China ETIM