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On his China visit next week, Pakistan PM Imran Khan to thank Beijing for support on Kashmir issue

Imran Khan is expected to hold meetings with President Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese officials to thank the leadership in Beijing for backing Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

world Updated: Oct 02, 2019 19:33 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Islamabad
Pakistan PM Imran Khan is expected to hold meetings with President Xi Jinping. Despite no official date being announced, officials said Khan’s visit may start on October 8.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan is expected to hold meetings with President Xi Jinping. Despite no official date being announced, officials said Khan’s visit may start on October 8. (REUTERS Photo)
         

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a three-day visit to China next week for meetings with the Chinese leadership and members of the business community, according to media reports.

The dates for Khan’s visit to China, his third since assuming office in August last year, have not been officially announced yet. However, according to the officials, Khan’s visit will start on October 8.

Khan is expected to hold meetings with President Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese officials to thank the leadership in Beijing for backing Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.

Khan’s first major engagement will be the China-Pakistan Business Forum in Beijing on October 8, according to the China Council for Promotion of International Trade.

The visit will take place against the backdrop of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and the reorganisation of the state. Pakistan has turned to China for support for its efforts to internationalise the Kashmir issue, but India has maintained that the changes in the state are an internal matter.

Officials said some memorandums of understanding will be signed during the visit. Khan is also expected to meet potential Chinese investors and some memorandums of understanding will be signed during the visit.

After his election to highest office in Pakistan last year, Khan first visited China in November 2018. He returned to Beijing in April to participate in the second Belt and Road Forum hosted by President Xi Jinping.

Speaking at the forum, he had said Pakistan and China are ready to start the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is the most high-profile artery in Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a multi-billion dollar inter-continental connectivity plan that aims to revive ancient land and sea trade routes between China, the rest of Asia and Europe.