Army Chief General Raheel Sharif on Thursday reassured China that the security and success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be ensured at all costs, and greater focus would be laid on consolidating Sino-Pak strategic partnership.
He held out this assurance while addressing a reception held here at a local hotel to mark the 89th anniversary of the founding of Chinese People”s Liberation Army.
The participants included high-ranking civil and military officers and defence attaches of various countries.
The reception was hosted by military attache in the Chinese Embassy Major General Qi Huajun. Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong was also present on the occasion.
In August 1927, armed forces led by the Communist Party of China held an uprising against warlords. The first day of August was later designated as the PLA”s founding day.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif spoke high of growing Sino-Pak relationship and said the two sides maintained a momentum of their collaborative partnership particularly through the CPEC that, according to him, is a game-changer project for improving the living conditions of people of Pakistan and the region as a whole.
China and Pakistan, he said, shared common destiny and had been collaborating for promoting peace and stability in the region.
Their cooperation and interaction had been excellent at all levels home and abroad. He said the people of Pakistan highly admire their friendship with China and feel proud of it.
General Raheel Sharif lauded the professional caliber of Chinese armed forces and said they are the symbol of peace and security. The growing military-to-military relationship is a hallmark of their multifaceted friendship.
He reiterated the government”s resolve to further strengthen their relations for peace and development and to fight out terrorism.
The Army Chief said that Pakistan Army and the People”s Liberation Army have laid a foundation for strategic relations. China”s People Liberation Army, he said, is one of the finest military outfits in the world.
About the PLA”s anniversary, he said this occasion also brings to the fore tremendous sacrifices made by the brave people of China in pursuing their dream through a united and unyielding struggle, which has certainly set a glorious precedent to follow.
He went on to add “This day that turned a peasant Army into a most formidable force reminds us of the power of people”s unity for which no goal is too high, no distance too long and no task too hard.
“Today, PLA is regarded as one of the finest military organisations of the world. The professional standards of PLA, its technological outreach and enviable operational record stand testimony to my remarks.
“Pakistan Army and the people of Pakistan take pride in our bonds of friendship with China. This iconic relationship is sweeter than the honey, higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans.
It is a symbol of our time tested friendship and deep and impregnable relationship.
“The affinity of views between China and Pakistan reflects our common vision and shared destiny. This convergence of our interests and commonality of purpose make us the most important strategic players in the region.
“Today, our mutually beneficial engagements include defence collaboration and joint production ventures. It also includes unified diplomatic front at all international platforms including United Nations, Association of South East Asian Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organisation; and the splendid China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
“China and Pakistan are partners in fight against the menace of terrorism for the common good of humanity. We seek enhanced regional cooperation to root out the menace of extremism and terrorism for enduring peace and stability in the region.
“As we consolidate the gains of the Operation Zarb-e-Azb, we will continue to take action against terrorists of all hue and colour. Our resolve to break the nexus between terrorists, criminality and corruption is unflinching.”
In the end, General Raheel reiterated that Pakistan Army and the PLA form the edifice of our overall strategic relations.
He was sure that the vast range of professional collaboration between PLA and Pakistan Army would continue to grow as a hallmark of the eternal friendship and common future of China and Pakistan.
Chinese Military, Air and Naval Attache General Qi Huajun in his welcome remarks praised the role and contribution of General Raheel Sharif in giving a further boost to their strategic partnership and promoting peace and security in the region.
The Chinese government, he said, highly appreciate the sacrifices of Pakistan”s armed forces in the war against terrorism.
The cooperation of the two armies, he said, is excellent one that meets the common aspirations of their people. The two countries are enjoying mutual trust at all levels.
He noted that General Raheel Sharif and Pakistan army made an outstanding contribution towards peace and security at regional and international level.
He also appreciated the Army Chief”s resolve towards protecting the CPEC at all costs. He also lauded their role in promoting peace and with Afghanistan. He also spoke about the role of PLA in the national defence and in the UN peace missions abroad. -INP