‘China-Pak Ties to be Even Better Under Shehbaz Than Even Imran’
BEIJING (IANS) – Chinese state media has said that the Sharif family of Pakistan has been promoting bilateral ties for a long time, and cooperation between the two nation could be even better than under former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Global Times reported that Khan is from a newly rising political party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), and when traditional major political parties like the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) or the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) return to power, China-Pakistan cooperation could be even better because these traditional major parties have much closer and deeper ties with China.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif was on April 11 elected as the 23rd Prime Minister of Pakistan with 174 lawmakers voting in his favor after the MNAs of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf boycotted the election. This followed massive protests that were staged across major cities of Pakistan against the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence called by the country’s opposition.
Chinese state media meanwhile tried to ensure ties remained intact with Pakistan, saying that when Sharif was regional leader of the eastern province of the Punjab, he struck many BRI cooperation deals with China directly to improve local infrastructure and economic development, and his family have maintained long-standing ties with China as his brother Nawaz Sharif is a three-time former Prime Minister and the leader who kicked off the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, the paper said.
Experts from both China and Pakistan are confident in the future of the China-Pakistan ties, as they believe the new government will continue to uphold the country’s long-standing tradition to make sure the friendship with China and all China-Pakistan cooperation projects will be unaffected, the report said.