Sunday, 2 August 2015

China’s enemy is our enemy, says Gen Raheel Sharif

China’s enemy is our enemy, says Gen Raheel Sharif

Declares we will jointly defeat rivals’ designs; reaffirms resolve to thwart any bid to impede CPEC

 Muhammad Saleh Zaafir
Saturday, August 01, 2015
ISLAMABAD: The Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif, on Friday said that “China’s enemy is Pakistan’s enemy and we will defeat rivals jointly”.

He said this on Friday evening in a grand reception hosted by the Chinese Embassy’s Armed Forces attaché Major General Qi Huajun to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the foundation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) here at a local hotel. The army chief was the chief guest.

General Raheel said: “Your enemy is our enemy. Eliminating the East Turkistan Independence Movement is its manifestation. Our cooperation for regional stability will squeeze space for states and non-state actors for stable Afghanistan.”

It was the first occasion since assuming the top post of the Pakistan Army, General Raheel Sharif attended a diplomatic reception in a hotel and gave a strong message of solidarity with the PLA and CPEC.

The normal security arrangements were in place. The army chief was received by Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Sun Weidong amid thunderous applause. General Raheel Sharif and his wife were received by the Chinese diplomats and armed forces officers and their spouses. The COAS felicitated the Chinese Army on its 88th foundation anniversary and paid rich tributes to the people of China and army for their sacrifices in pursuing their dreams.

He termed the ties of the two countries deep and resolute and reminded that “all weather friendship sweeter than honey, higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans is a source of pride for us. Our friendship will further grow in these testing times.”

The army chief was in full military outfit and said that recent strides and holistic concept of CPEC speak volumes. “It will see both nations progressing, further maximising dividend of our geo-strategic location.”

General Raheel said that the cooperation on the CPEC will benefit the entire region. He said that the entire world looks at the CPEC through the same lens. Referring to his recent visit to Balochistan and inspection of the construction work there, he recalled that he had visited the site as the pace of work was in full gear. “I reiterate our firm resolve that any attempt to obstruct or impede this project will be thwarted at all costs.”

General Raheel Sharif said that Pakistan Army and the PLA formed edifice of our strategic relations. “We will defeat nefarious designs of forces detrimental to us. The PLA is one of the best armies of the world,” the COAS added. He said that terrorism had attacked our common interests and it needs global response. “Only together can we win this war,” he emphasised.

Chinese Armed Forces Attaché Major General Qi Huajun in his address of welcome thanked General Raheel Sharif for attending the reception. He spoke high of the cooperation between the two armies and paid rich tributes to the troops and officers of the Pakistan Army. The national anthems of the two countries were played on the arrival of the army chief. As a gesture of special affection, national anthem of the host country was played first. It was followed by the cake cutting ceremony and the cake was cut with the army sword jointly by the officers in uniform and the Chinese ambassador.

The officers belonging to the three services turned up in a record number for the function. Former naval chiefs Admiral Asif Sandila and Fazil Janjua also attended the reception. General Raheel Sharif stayed at the reception for about 100 minutes. As soon he finished his meal, the children and women from Pakistan and Chinese community gathered around the COAS. He too mingled up with them and they got their pictures with General Raheel Sharif proudly.

The COAS was forthcoming in meeting the guests — both the Pakistanis and Chinese — and met the fellow guests freely. He was shaking hands and inquiring about their well-being in a friendly manner, something that impressed the participants.

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