Pakistan and China on Saturday pledged to expose the culprits behind the Dasu bus incident and give them “exemplary punishment”.
“Both sides expressed their firm resolve to expose the culprits and their reprehensible designs through the ongoing joint investigation, give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators, ensure comprehensive safety and security of the Chinese projects, nationals and institutions, and prevent recurrence of such incidents,” read the joint statement issued after talks between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi in Beijing.
The July 14 ‘terrorist attack’ raised questions about the future of Chinese investment in Pakistan. But the joint readout suggested that the two sides were not deterred by the bus attack as Pakistan promised comprehensive security for the Chinese nationals.
According to the joint statement, both sides vehemently condemned the terrorist attack in Dasu which caused loss of precious lives and injuries to the Pakistani and Chinese workers.
Pakistan conveyed its profound condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families, emphasised that the sacrifices of Chinese nationals would not be in vain, and that the China-Pakistan partnership would emerge stronger through this test.
Pakistan promised to ensure medical treatment, care and comfort of the injured, the statement further said.
After the bus incident, the crucial Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), apex Forum for CPEC, was postponed. But the joint statement suggested that both sides were committed to the multimillion-dollar flagship programme of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Both sides underscored that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) had entered a new phase of high-quality development, greatly contributing to the socio-economic development in Pakistan, said the statement.
The two sides, it said, would continue to firmly advance the construction of CPEC, ensure timely completion of under-construction projects, focus on economic and social development, jobs creation and improvement of people’s livelihood, and further strengthen cooperation in an industrial park, infrastructure development, science and technology, medical and health, agriculture, human resources training, with the aim to continuously unleashing the great potential of CPEC to make it a hub of regional connectivity.
Both sides agreed to the need for building health, industry, trade, digital and green corridors. Both sides reviewed with satisfaction the remarkable achievements of CPEC.
The two sides look forward to convening the 10th JCC meeting to jointly promote the high-quality development of the CPEC and move forward with the high-quality construction of BRI.
Both sides reviewed their cooperation on regional and international issues at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and ASEAN Regional Forum, and agreed to deepen coordination and cooperation to safeguard mutual interests and uphold the principles of fairness and justice.
Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support for multilateralism, free trade and win-win cooperation.
The two sides exchanged views on bilateral strategic, economic and security cooperation, Covid-19 pandemic, peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan and international and regional issues of mutual interest, and reached a consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity and development in the region.
Both sides recalled that the enduring Pakistan-China friendship has reached the momentous milestone of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, being marked by the two countries with more than 100 celebratory events throughout this year, demonstrating warmth and deep sentiments of their unshakable fraternal bonds.
In further strengthening their all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and together charting a course for the ‘Pakistan-China Community of Shared Future in the New Era’, both sides are committed to firmly implementing the consensus reached between their leaders, enhance mutual strategic trust, strengthen all-round cooperation, maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, further advance Belt and Road partnership, promote bilateral relations to a higher level, and delivering greater benefits to both countries and the two peoples.
Extending felicitations to China on the centenary celebration of the founding of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Pakistan recognised CPC’s immense contributions for the Chinese people, for China’s stellar rise on the world stage, and its unrivalled achievement of lifting 800 million people out of poverty.
Pakistan wished the Chinese government and the people greater success in achieving the goal of socialist modernisation in 2035 and building a modern, prosperous, beautiful, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious socialist country in 2049, under the inspiring and visionary leadership of the CPC, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core.
Both sides reviewed with satisfaction their close cooperation in successfully controlling the spread of Covid-19, cooperation in protective and medical equipment, vaccine development and ensuring early post-pandemic economic recovery.
Pakistan thanked China for its steadfast support to the vaccination drive in the country and for setting up a vaccine finish facility at the National Institute of Health in Islamabad. China expressed its resolve to continue assisting Pakistan in strengthening its national health systems and dealing with adverse socio-economic impacts of the pandemic.
Both sides believed that the study of origins of the SARS-CoV-2 was a matter of science, and should not be politicised and mentioned that a report of the WHO-convened global study of origins of the SARS-CoV-2, published this March, drew an authoritative and scientific conclusion of related issues.
“This joint report should be recognised, respected and preserved, and should be treated as the basis of the WHO’s next stage of the origin tracing study as well. We hope that the WHO can, together with the international community, defend the scientific and serious study of origins of the SARS-CoV-2 and oppose the actions to politicise the issue, and safeguard the favourable atmosphere for global cooperation against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Offering condolences on the loss of precious lives caused by torrential rains and flooding in Henan province, the Pakistan side expressed the hope that with strenuous efforts of the Chinese government, normalcy would be restored soon and the affected people would return to their homes.
Both sides agreed to continue their unyielding support on issues concerning each other’s core national interests. The Chinese side reiterated its firm support to Pakistan in safeguarding its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, independently choosing a development path based on its national conditions, striving for a better external security environment and playing a more constructive role on international and regional affairs.
The Pakistan side reiterated its commitment to the “One-China Policy” and firm support to China on core issues of its national interest, such as Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and South China Sea.
Both sides underscored that a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous South Asia was in the common interest of all countries. Both sides agreed to the need for settling disputes and issues in the region through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
The Pakistan side briefed the Chinese side on “the deteriorating situation in Jammu & Kashmir, including its concerns, position and current urgent issues”.
The Chinese side reiterated that the Kashmir issue was a dispute left over from history between India and Pakistan, which was an objective fact, and that the dispute should be resolved peacefully and properly through the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements. China opposed any unilateral actions that complicated the situation.
Stressing that peace and stability in Afghanistan were vital for socio-economic development, connectivity and prosperity in the region, both sides called on all Afghan stakeholders for a comprehensive ceasefire, and work together in earnest to achieve broad-based and comprehensive, inclusive, negotiated political settlement.
Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to facilitate and support the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process for the early realisation of a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous Afghanistan, which would firmly combat terrorism and live in harmony with its neighbours.
Both sides reaffirmed their support for the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, their readiness to expand economic and trade ties, and support Afghanistan in enhancing its capacity for independent development.
Both China and Pakistan reaffirmed their firm resolve to further strengthen their time-tested and all-weather strategic cooperative partnership with fresh dynamism and vitality, the joint statement concluded.