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For peace, dynamics should be shifted from confrontation to cooperation: Pak PM

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Bishkek, Jun 14: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamics in the region is shifted from “confrontation to cooperation”.

Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit here, Khan said the South Asia continues to be challenged by common enemies, including poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development.

“Enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamic in South Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation,” Khan was quoted as saying by the state-run ‘Radio Pakistan’.

The “political differences and unresolved disputes further compound the predicament,” the Pakistan prime minister said.

“It is important to seize the opportunities for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes and collective endeavours for regional prosperity,” he said.

Khan also said that Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including “state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation.”

India and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of providing “safe haven” to the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and other militant groups, which carry out attacks in the two neighbouring countries.

Khan, who has made public statements in recent months affirming his resolve not to allow Pakistan’s soil to be used against any other country, said his country remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism.

“We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” he said, adding that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.

Referring to the Afghan peace talks, Khan said there is finally a realisation that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution.

Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, he added.

Xi offers support for improvement of Indo-Pak ties in his meeting with Pak PM

Bishkek, Jun 14:  Chinese President Xi Jinping Friday offered Beijing’s support for Pakistan and India to improve their strained relations during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan here, China’s state-run media reported.

Xi’s remarks comes a day after his meeting with Narendra Modi on Thursday during which the Prime Minister made it amply clear that dialogue with Pakistan is not possible without Islamabad giving up terrorism.

During their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit, Xi told Khan that China “supports Pakistan and India in improving their relations”, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Prime Minister Modi raised the issue of “cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan” during his talks with President Xi and said India expects “concrete action” by Islamabad to create an atmosphere “free of terror” for the resumption of dialogue.

Modi did not meet Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit, spurning Pakistan Prime Minister’s suggestion for a bilateral meeting in Bishkek.

India has not been engaging with Pakistan since a militant attack on the Air Force base at Pathankot in January of 2016, maintaining that “talks and terror cannot go together”.

Early this year, tensions flared up between India and Pakistan after a suicide bomber of Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Post-Pulwama attack, China made efforts to de-escalate tensions between India and Pakistan. President XI rushed Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou to Islamabad to discuss the Indo-Pak tensions.

During his talks with Khan, Xi also offered China’s support for Pakistan in counter-terrorism efforts.

China is willing to help Pakistan within its capabilities, Xi said, adding that China supports Pakistan in implementing its national counter-terrorism plan to the end and is ready to help the country strengthen its counter-terrorism capacity.

Stressing that the two sides should well maintain, consolidate, and develop their all-weather partnership and all-dimensional cooperation, Xi said that China and Pakistan should carry out in-depth communication on issues of common concern, so as to make joint efforts to safeguard regional and international security and stability.

The two sides should expand and enrich the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with new focus on areas including industrial parks, agriculture and social welfare, Xi said, referring to the multi-billion dollar project which is part of his ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.

President Xi also called on the two countries to take the upgrade of the China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement as an opportunity to vigorously expand bilateral trade.

He also urged the two countries to foster a closer community with a shared future against complicated regional and international situations.

Xi noted that it has been his third meeting with the Pakistani prime minister in the past eight months.

This, he said, fully demonstrates the high level of the China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

He called on the two countries to carry out closer coordination and cooperation.

Pakistan, Khan said, is committed to deepening its strategic relationship with China, and will firmly advance the construction of the CPEC.

He added that his country will take effective measures to ensure security for the project.

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