‘One Belt One Road’ summit
First lady and five ministers also accompany PM; received at airport with enthusiasm
BEIJING: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif reached here on a six-day visit leading a high level delegation along with four provincial chief ministers with him to attend international forum to highlight Chinese initiative of “One Belt One Road” (OBOR).
It was a rare occasion that all the chief ministers are here as part of Prime Minister Nawaz’s delegation.
They all traveled in one plane. The prime minister and chief ministers were in cheerful disposition while the chief ministers kept exchanging pleasantries during the five-hour sojourn with each other.
The two chief ministers belong to arch rival of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) i.e. the PPP and PTI.
They were also seen agitating against the federal government recently and raising slogans against the prime minister. Prime Minister Nawaz held two hours long preparatory meetings where they discussed and fine-tuned the upcoming agenda for the visit.
First Lady Begum Kulsum Nawaz is also accompanying the prime minister in the visit that is taking place on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Nawaz was received with fair amount of enthusiasm here at the Beijing airport where China’s ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong and Pakistan’s Ambassador Masood Khalid were also present.
A contingent of guards presented salute to the prime minister as he alighted from his special aircraft. Two children clad in traditional dresses, presented bouquets to the prime minister and his spouse.
Nawaz will address two-day RBF for International Cooperation commencing today.
After arrival, he met the Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Kaqiang separately to further promote bilateral relations between the two friendly countries.
The talks between the two premiers will also take place today and two MoUs will also be inked on the occasion between Pakistan and China.
The bilateral cooperation and regional situation would be in focus during today’s meetings.
An important meeting between Nawaz Sharif and Chinese National Energy Administration (NEA)/Chinese Power Sector will be held today where the countries will sign yet another MoU.
Prime Minister Magnolia Jargalutulga Erdenebat will also meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The high echelon delegation of the prime minister includes Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Trade and Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastaigr Khan, State Minister for IT Ms. Anusha Rehman and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.
Secretary to Prime Minister Secretary (SPM) Fawad Hasan Fawad (PMS), Federal Secretary for Petroleum Raja Sikandar Jalal, Secretary for Water and Power Yusuf Nasim Khokhar, Chairman Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal, Chairman Wapda Lieutenant General (R) Muzammal Hussain are also part of prime minister’s entourage.
The prime minister will attend the inaugural session of the summit and the plenary meeting of high-level dialogue and the state banquet. He will also attend the leaders’ roundtable sessions on second day of the forum. Highly placed sources told The News that number of agreements are expected to be signed in connection with China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) during the visit.
The prime minister is also expected to meet world leaders on the sidelines of the forum. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s President Racepe Tayyip Erdogan are also attending the international gathering.
Nawaz will participate in an investment conference and meet business and corporate leaders.
As many as 28 heads of state and government, over 50 leaders of international organisations, over 100 ministerial-level officials, as well as over 1,200 delegates from various countries and regions will participate in the forum.
The forum will build consensus and connect development strategies of various countries and will also examine cooperation in key areas and finalise major projects in infrastructure connectivity, trade and investment, financial support and people-to-people exchanges, according to a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Medium and long-term cooperation initiatives will be announced and long-term cooperation mechanisms explored to build a closer and more result-oriented network of partnerships, he added.