Pray Pakistan stays united, hopes China as Imran Khan govt set to fall

Imran Khan, Chinese minister, Wang Yi,
Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan during a recent visit

As Pakistan’s Imran Khan-led government faces a no-confidence motion due to loss of majority, China expressed hopes of unity among various parties in the interest of stability and development.

When asked whether Beijing is concerned that any change of leadership in Pakistan could impact its ties with Pakistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said China is committed to non-interference policy.

As an all-weather strategic cooperative partner, friendly neighbour of Pakistan, China sincerely hopes that all parties in Pakistan will stay united and uphold the major interest of development and stability, Wang Wenbin said.

Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Khan on Wednesday effectively lost majority in Parliament after Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), a key partner of the ruling coalition, joined the ranks of the Opposition, which had tabled a no-confidence motion against his government in the National Assembly.

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Khan has, however, refused to resign, claiming the Opposition’s no-confidence motion  was a foreign conspiracy because of his external policies.

The current political crisis came about just after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Pakistan on March 21.

While China remains concerned about the political developments in Pakistan, it has agreed to roll over USD 4.2 billion Pakistan debt due to be paid this week.

“I am immensely happy to share that the Chinese FM has given a nod of approval on the rollover of commercial loan as well,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, a close confidant of Prime Minister Khan, said, according to newspaper Dawn.

The USD 4.2 billion debt, which was maturing this week, has been rolled over providing major financial relief to Pakistan, the daily reported.

Qureshi is currently visiting China to attend the Neighbourhood Countries Foreign Ministers’ conference on Afghanistan.

Also read: As Imran faces no-confidence vote, here are the key players in Pakistan

Having reservations with Imran Khan over his criticism of the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the run up to elections, Beijing is said to be maintaining strong ties with the Pakistan military which it sees as the cornerstone of its ironclad ties with Islamabad.

Besides holding talks with Khan during his Pakistan visit, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi had travelled to Rawalpindi, the headquarters of the Pakistan Army, where he held lengthy talks with its chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa and praised the Pakistan military’s role in nurturing close ties.

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