Diplomatic: (Pakistan best friend, most important ally: Chinese ex-servicemen)

ISLAMABAD: Ex-Servicemen of Peoples Liberation Army of China on Wednesday said Beijing considers Pakistan a best friend and an all-weather ally.

Pakistan is the most reliable friend and we will continue to help Islamabad in all respects, said Mr Zhang Jie, Executive Chairman of China Association of Career Promotion for Veterans.

This he said while leading a delegation of Chinese ex-servicemen that met with the officials of the Pakistan Ex-servicemen Association (PESA) led by its president Gen. Ali Kuli Khan (Retd).

Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, Lt Gen Naeem Akbar, Brig Mahmud, Brig Simon Sharaf and Major Farouk Hameed Khan and Brig Rauf from PESS were also present on the occasion. Mr Zhang Jie said that we are pleased and proud about the increased cooperation between the defence services of the two countries that was started when they were in service.

He expressed confidence that with completion of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, mutual relations in military and economic fields shall be further cemented. “Pakistan’s concern is China’s concern,” he added. At the occasion, Mr Zhang Jie lauded the sacrifices of Pakistan Army for peace and extended invitation to a delegation of PESA to visit Beijing which was accepted.

Speaking at the occasion, Gen. Ali Kuli Khan said that the friendship between Pakistan and China is higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey, and stronger than steel.

Lauding the Chinese cooperation and Silk route initiative, he said that Chinese have become stakeholders and not just bystanders in the region which is highly encouraging for Pakistan, he said. Gen. Khan said that Pakistani companies should be encouraged to develop joint ventures with multinationals in China which will benefit both the countries.

PESA members said Chinese Army rightly deserved to be named Liberation Army because it has fought wars of liberation not only for China but also for the countries of region. During the meeting both sides agreed to further deepen the already cordial ties which will benefit the whole region.

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