Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his visit to China dig up the issue of Kashmir yet again and briefed Chinese President Xi Jinping on the current situation of the state. The Chinese promised its support to protect Pakistan’s territorial integrity.
The Chinese premier pacified Sharif by saying, “China will continue to firmly support Pakistan in safeguarding its sovereignty, territorial integrity, development interests and dignity, and in achieving unity, stability, development, and prosperity.” The two allies in a joint statement have said that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per the UN Charter and bilateral agreement. The two sides reiterated that a peaceful and prosperous South Asia is in the common interest of all. They emphasized the importance of resolving all outstanding disputes through sincere dialogue.
Jinping’s government assured Islamabad of assistance in stabilizing its financial woes as well as in providing additional emergency relief to support its efforts of reconstructing the areas affected by the recent floods. They also agreed to advance with greater efficiency towards the betterment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which poses a direct threat to Indian sovereignty.
This comes at a time when India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh recently commented that India’s development can never be complete without reaching Indian territories of Gilgit and Baltistan which is a part of Kashmir and has been illegally occupied by Pakistan. His comments were seen as a reaffirmation of the country’s resolve to gain back the region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK).