China's FM likely to visit Pakistan to finalise President Xi's trip
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is likely to visit Pakistan soon for talks, the Foreign Office said on Friday, amid reports that President Xi Jinping will be the chief guest at the Pakistan Day military parade being held here on March 23 after a gap of seven years.
Islamabad: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is likely to visit Pakistan soon for talks, the Foreign Office said on Friday, amid reports that President Xi Jinping will be the chief guest at the Pakistan Day military parade being held here on March 23 after a gap of seven years.
"The Chinese foreign minister is likely to visit Pakistan soon," Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said during her weekly news briefing here.
She said the exact dates of the minister's visit will be announced once they are finalised. Pakistani media had earlier reported that Wang would arrive here on February 9.
"The detailed agenda of the Chinese Foreign Minister's visit to Pakistan is still being worked out," she said.
"The two sides will cover the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and will discuss regional issues of common interest as per our tradition and practice," she said.
Aslam also confirmed that President Xi is set to visit Pakistan this year but said exact dates of the visit are being worked out.
According to reports, Wang's visit to Pakistan is a part of the preparations of Xi's visit to the country to attend the military day parade as the chief guest next month.
Earlier today, Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif today met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and reportedly briefed him about his recent visit to Beijing where he met top Chinese political and military leadership.
The move to invite Xi for the Pakistan Day military parade comes days after India held its 66th Republic Day parade in which US President Barack Obama was the chief guest.
Obama's visit had raised eyebrows in both Pakistan and China, who describe themselves as "all weather friends."
Late last year, Xi's visit to Pakistan was cancelled due to anti-government protests in Islamabad led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT).
The joint parade of the three branches of armed forces had been the hallmark of the Pakistan Day festivities, which features display of military hardware and cultural activities.
The parade will be organised by joint staff headquarters in Rawalpindi, which oversees the entire Pakistani military.
The venue for the parade is yet to be finalised, with two vast compounds shortlisted as potential sites.
The last military parade took place on March 23, 2008 during the tenure of Gen Pervez Musharraf as president. The parade was not held since then due to security reasons.