ISLAMABAD, September 7, 2016: Speaking at a meeting with the Hubei provincial government in China, Vice President PPP Senator Sherry Rehman proposed to declare the Chinese city of Wuhan the twin city of Karachi.
Rehman is leading a thirteen-member delegation of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in China. She made these comments in the city of Wuhan during their two meetings there.
Rehman said that China is projecting power that is industrial-led, manufacturing-led and now it is exporting its surplus. She said that by leveraging economic gains, China is laying new groundwork for amplifying its soft power in reaching out so extensively to all of Eurasia via the OBOR. “We are looking forward to pairing Karachi and Wuhan- both of which are commercial centres. We are looking forward to deepening cooperation,” she stated.
Members of the PPP delegation include Sindh Transport and Mass Transit Minister Mr. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah, former MNA, Deputy Speaker for KPK and Central Information Secretary Mr. Faisal Karaim Kundi, Senator Karim Khawaja, Senator Sassui Palejo, MNA Imran Leghari, MPA Khwaja Muhammad Nizam-ul-Mehmood, former MP for Gilgit Baltistan Advocate Amjad Hussain, former MNA for KPK Noor Alam Khan, former MNA for FATA Akhunzada Chattan, former MNA for Punjab Ghulam Murtaza Satti, former MNA for Punjab Nadeem Afzal Chan and former MPA for Punjab Natasha Daultana.
They were received by the Hubei provincial leadership upon their arrival in Wuhan. They met with the Provincial Development and Reform Commission to discuss the economic reforms in China from local perspective. The Commission is represented by Deputy DG Mr. Liu Qi Gang, and includes the divisional ministers for Foreign and Economic Trade, and Transportation among others.
They also met with Yu Shao Liang, Member of the Standing Committee of CPC Hubei Committee and Minister of Organization, Wang Yaping, Secretary General of CPC Hubei and Yan Pulin, Director General of Hubei Provincial Foreign Affairs Office. The Director General of Hubei briefed the delegation about the development of their province, IT, hi-tech engineering, ports and their shipping industry.
Rehman lauded the development of Hubei and China’s overall transformation. She praised the work that the Communist Party of China (CPC) has achieved at the grass root level.
“The world is studying China with great interest,” she said. “Pakistan is one of China’s oldest friends and a student of Chinese growth.” She said that at a time when the world economy is going down and inequality is increasing, China is surging ahead.
“China is a driver of growth, connectivity, infrastructure and energy,” said the Senator. Referring to OBOR as the new innovation in linkage, she said, “Pakistan wants to be the most important partner of China in this quantum leap.”
“We see China as more than a country- a great civilisation that is finding its voice,” declared Rehman. “China is looking to become a smart-knowledge economy.” Rehman spoke of the enriched innovation in China and how the country is promoting platforms from the bottom up to young and innovative entrepreneurs, driving change with its market socialism model. She cited the creation of seed funds for SMEs as an example.
“Pak-China mutual bilateral cooperation avenues, said Rehman, “include the industrial sector, and shipping among others.” As examples she gave the cases of Sindh developing KT bandar, construction and transport.
Rehman said that Pakistan is looking to build on its security transition and is looking forward to securing and realising the opportunities embedded in the CPEC. She said that the PPP agrees with China, that a country’s greatness lies in its people. “The PPP’s goal has always been pivoted on empowering the bottom of the social pyramid,” she said, “among shared goals across the eras of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, SMBB, Pres Zardari and Chairman Bilawal, was to transform the region and Asia as a connectivity hub and economic growth engine of the century.”
Transport and Mass Transit Minister Mr. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah urged Hubei to share their expertise in Mass Transit solutions in order to establish similar transit management cell for Karachi and Sindh, to which Hubei agreed to help.
Members of the delegation also exchanged views with the senior provincial officials and spoke of resolving common challenges such as climate change stresses on the Himalayan system.
The Senator in conclusion, said that the PPP looks forward to enriching relations and thanked the hosts for the continuing hospitality. “Looking forward to seeing you visit Pakistan, especially Sindh,” she concluded.
The PPP delegation left for Beijing on Wednesday to meet with think tanks and CPC leadership.