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Pak hosts envoy from China amid tension with army

Pakistan's prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said there is a "complete convergence of views" between Islamabad and Beijing on global and regional issues as Pakistan hosts a top Chinese official whose visit comes amid a clash between the government and the army.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2011 12:45 IST

Pakistan's prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said there is a "complete convergence of views" between Islamabad and Beijing on global and regional issues as Pakistan hosts a top Chinese official whose visit comes amid a clash between the government and the army.


Gilani on Friday said Pakistan and China's comprehensive cooperation and robust partnership was in the fundamental interest of their people and conducive to peace, progress and stability of Asia.


"There is a complete convergence of views of our two countries on the global and regional issues and a commonality of approach to advance the international agenda for peace and prosperity," Gilani said while speaking at a banquet he hosted in honour of the visiting State Councillor of China Dai Bingguo in Islamabad.

Dai Bingguo, an expert on South Asian affairs, is visiting Pakistan as a representative of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The visit takes place as a tussle broke out between the army and the government.

"There cannot be a state within a state. Nobody can say that he is not under the government," Gilani said in the National Assembly on Thursday, adding: "Conspiracies are being hatched to pack up an elected government."

Pakistan army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, however, dispelled speculations of a military takeover and assured the nation that the army will support the democratic process in the country.

Dai Bingguo, while reiterating China's commitment to further bolster the deep-rooted ties with Pakistan, said that Beijing wants to intensify amicable and cooperative relations with Islamabad.

"China is firmly committed to deepening friendship and partnership with neighboring countries. We want to intensify amicable and cooperative relations with Pakistan and other neighboring countries," Dai Bingguo said.

The prime minister on Friday termed the friendship with China as the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy and said: "The relations between Pakistan and China go beyond governments and are deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of our peoples."

"China's economic transformation, technological excellence and spirit of innovation elicit our respect and admiration," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted Gilani as saying.

Gilani said that Pakistan desires stability and peace in the region.

"We believe that regional economic cooperation is essential for progress and prosperity."