Prime Minister Gilani to visit China


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is to visit China next week as Islamabad sinks deeper into a domestic and international crisis over the US killing of Osama bin Laden on its territory. Gilani will begin the four-day visit on May 17 and hold talks with Chinese leaders on “important bilateral and region issues,” a government official told AFP.
In Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu confirmed Gilani will meet President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. “Leaders of the two countries will exchange views on bilateral relations and promote practical cooperation across the border as well as other issues of common interest,” she said, adding “We are satisfied with the status quo of our bilateral relations and we are full of confidence in the prospects of China-Pakistan relations.”
The country’s leadership has been all but paralysed since May 2 after the US’ violation of the country’s airspace and the raid on bin Laden’s compound. Pakistanis are up in arms at the perceived impunity of the raid, and are also furiously asking whether their military was too incompetent to know bin Laden was living close to a major military academy, or, even worse, conspired to protect him.