President returns to Karachi


President Asif Ali Zardari Friday returned Karachi after participating in the 12th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization that was held in Beijing this Wednesday and Thursday.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar while giving a round-up of the visit said that the visit comprised of two components, one participation in the 12th SCO Summit and the other the bilateral meetings.
In the first component, the President pleaded Pakistan’s case for full membership of the Organization while in the second component the process of bilateral relations was carried further forward during meetings with Presidents of China, Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan.
He said that on the platform of the SCO Summit, the President while highlighting the sacrifices of the Pakistani people in the war against terrorism— a shared concern of all participants of the Summit— also pleaded Pakistan’s case for the full membership as it was ‘part of the SCO geographical fabric’ and ‘shared cultural and economic linkages with the SCO countries’.
Using the platform of SCO, the President offered to host a counter narcotics conference of SCO states in Pakistan to find ways and means to end drug trafficking which he said provided financial strength to the militants.
Pakistan was poised to serve as a catalyst for regional economic integration and connectivity, the President informed the heads off states and governments of the SCO states and added that Pakistan wanted to work with them in all major areas including connectivity, energy, transport, infrastructure, telecommunications, banking and other areas.
On the bilateral front, President Asif Ali Zardari held important bilateral meetings with his Chinese, Afghan, Iranian and Tajik counterparts.
Farhatullah Babar said that the President also witnessed signing of four MoUs and one Agreement between Pakistan and China. The MoUs signed pertained to the supply of water from Tarbela to Islamabad and
Rawalpindi, the establishment of Special Economic Zone in the proposed new city Zulfikarabad in Sindh, the building of 6,000 flats and the development of I-15 sector Islamabad on private public partnership basis and lastly the understanding on mutual long term cooperation in the space sciences and remote sensing satellite needed to whether and flood forecast. The Agreement reached related to the dredging of canal and barrages in Sindh.
President Zardari during his meeting with President Hu Jintao called for greater Chinese investment in infrastructure development particularly in mega energy projects. The President also called for the setting up of the special Energy Fund for undertaking energy related mega projects.
Senator Babar said that President Zardari was warmly received by President Hu Jinato upon his arrival at the Great Hall of the Peoples in Beijing for the bilateral meeting escorting him to the dais before a smart contingent of three forces of China presented a guard of honour to the President.
During bilateral meeting of the President with the President of Iran on the sidelines of the Summit, the two leaders agreed in principle to find way and means for financing the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. The two leaders also agreed to step up completion of modalities for the export of Iranian
electricity to Pakistan.
With the Afghan President Karzai the President reiterated Pakistan’s continued support for the stability, peace and socio-economic development of Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan supported strengthening the Afghan National Security Forces and for this purpose had announced US$ 20 million support. The President said that Pakistan was also prepared to consider any additional needs for strengthening the capacity of Afghan security forces, if the latter so
During meeting with the Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, the two sides agreed to work together to strengthen regional connectivity through road, air and rail links between the regional countries for promoting mutual trade and economic activities in the region. President Zardari, during the meeting, also called for developing implementation mechanisms for effective follow up on agreed decisions.
Spokesperson said that on the first day of his visit, the President interacted with the leading business executive of China and invited them to expand their business ventures in Pakistan. He said that the Government was trying to translate and transform the traditional Pak-China friendship into economic terms for the benefit of the people of the two countries. He assured the Chinese businessmen that the Government of Pakistan would provide all possible facilitation in their business pursuits and the
required security to the Chinese personnel working in the country.
Senator Babar said that the President also interacted with the leading Chinese media outlets including Xinhua, CCTV, China Daily and China Radio International, before his departure to Pakistan and highlighted the importance of full SCO membership for Pakistan. He highlighted business and investment opportunities being offered by Pakistan and called upon the Chinese businessmen to take advantage of the investment friendly environment of Pakistan.