India protests against proposed Pak-China bus service via PoK

Rising Kashmir

While commerce minister Dawood said some of the CPEC projects were unfair to Pakistani companies and should be put on hold for a year, Railways Minister Rasheed said Pakistan wants to cut the size of the United States dollars 8 billion Karachi-Peshawar rail line, the biggest project of the CPEC, by USD 2 billion.

China on Friday reportedly agreed to provide $6 billion in aid to Pakistan, which is going through a "low point", to minimise the cash-strapped country's dependence on an International Monetary Fund bailout package as Prime Minister Imran Khan held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Talking to the AIIB president, PM Imran Khan said as a founding member of the AIIB, Pakistan fully supports the bank's mission, adding that the AIIB had achieved good results in a short span of time since and was financing developmental projects in Pakistan. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad halted a few Chinese projects after coming to power this year, while Myanmar's Planning and Finance Minister Soe Win told Nikkei in July that his government would demand that plans for a new port be "slimmed down".

Haling Pakistan efforts, he said that this country, despite its domestic turmoil and neighbors aggression, always stood through every thick and thin with the helpless people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"We have very special relations with China".

Earlier, he hoped PM Imran Khan's first visit of China will open up new vistas of prosperity through expanding its exports to China and attracting more Chinese investment in the country.

Talking about the economic challenges including the current account deficit and declining foreign exchange reserves, the Prime Minister said, his government was following a two-pronged strategy including approaching friendly countries for financial assistance and putting the option of IMF at the end to avoid the tough conditions of the Fund.

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Mr Khan's trip to China comes amid unrest at home over the acquittal of a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy. "It is easy to catch low-level criminals but it is much more challenging to expose white-collar crime which actually devastates a country", he added. "These relations have not only benefited the two all-weather strategic partners but the region and world".

During the meeting, Khan thanked President Xi for extending warm hospitality to him and his delegation in China.

He said China was ready to work together with the new government under Prime Minister Imran Khan to build a community of shared destiny for mankind.

Khan is accompanied by foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, finance minister Umar, Advisor on Commerce and Trade Abdul Razzak Dawood, railways minister Sheikh Rasheed among others.

India has lodged a protest with Pakistan and China over a bus service set to be launched today between Lahore and Kashghar - a city in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west - through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Xi said the two sides should deepen strategic communication, maintain regular visits and meetings between the two countries' leaders and enhance experience-sharing in the governance of a country.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) and China´s Premier Li Keqiang attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

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