Friendship and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China is an indispensable and critical factor to ensure regional and global peace and security, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.
Praising China's flood relief assistance in Pakistan, Gilani said, "Pictures of Chinese rescue and medical teams, working day and night in the mountains of Azad Kashmir (POK) and the delta region of the mighty Indus in full fury, helping their Pakistani brothers and sisters, have become indelible in the minds and hearts of our people."
He was speaking at a reception to commemorate 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic ties between two countries here last night.
Gilani praised former Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai for the crafting the Pakistan-China friendship.
"They were the ones who visualised and, indeed, grasped the essence of threads of history...gave a brilliant new context to the relations" between two countries, Pakistan official APP news agency quoted him as saying.
He said the friendship and strategic partnership between the two countries is an indispensable and critical factor in ensuring regional and global peace and security.
Apparently referring to China taking up with US Pakistan's concerns over violation of its sovereignty in commando raid to kill bin Laden Gilani said, "we also acknowledge, with gratitude, the support that China has extended to Pakistan in our efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and Pakistan's core national interests."
"Once again, in these troubled times, we collectively face new challenges with the firm conviction in our belief that truth and justice will prevail," he said, adding that in these turbulent times, the "only voice of reason in international affairs is that of China".
"From the friendship highway, called the Karakoram Highway in the North to the Gwadar deep seaport in the South, all major economic projects in Pakistan were built with Chinese assistance," he said.
"Even today, hundreds of Chinese corporations and thousands of Chinese men and women are working tirelessly together with the Pakistani brothers and sisters on major economic and development projects. For all this, we are truly grateful," he said.