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Musharraf says Sino-Pak agreement on free trade will be finalised this year

Daily Times (Pakistan)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Musharraf wants IPI gas line extended to China

Says Sino-Pak agreement on free trade will be finalised this year

SHANGHAI: Pakistan can be an energy corridor for China and it wants the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline extended up to China, President General Pervez Musharraf told a group of Chinese traders during a meeting on Wednesday.

“The Sino-Pak agreement on free trade will be finalised this year,” Musharraf said, noting that the Karakorum Highway linking Pakistan and China could help boost trade between the two countries. He proposed a rail track along the Karakorum Highway to enhance trade between Pakistan and China. He said that Pakistan was setting up modern industrial parks in its major cities, and invited Chinese investors to these parks.

Talking to a delegation of the Chinese Industry and Trade Federation, President Musharraf asked the private sector to come forward to enhance trade and investment between the two countries.

Addressing Chinese think tanks at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, President Musharraf called for the promotion of a strong system for the United Nations, resolution of longstanding political conflicts and sustained efforts against terrorism and extremism. He said that concerted efforts were needed to end conflicts in Kashmir, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and the Iranian nuclear crisis. He urged six-party talks on North Korea.

President Musharraf said that Islamabad was doing all it could for the political and economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan was engaged in dialogue with India and its success depended on “sincerity, flexibility and courage from both sides”.

Later in an interview to Russia’s official news agency Itar-Tass, President Musharraf underlined the need for enhanced Islamabad-Moscow cooperation against terrorism.

President Musharraf said that it was important to find out the causes of terrorism and extremism. “The military approach cannot become the absolute solution to the phenomenon of terrorism,” he said. “No one must be misled into thinking that all problems can be solved by force.”

“Regrettably, our counteraction to terrorism now boils down to fighting its consequences,” he said, adding that the root causes of the problem lie “in political differences into which Muslims are drawn in Kashmir, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan”.

President Musharraf will attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, where Pakistan has observer status, today (Thursday). He is also expected to meet the heads of SCO member states on the sidelines of the summit. (Agencies)

 source: Daily Times