Islamabad: Six JF-17 Thunder jets of the Pakistan Air Force will escort Chinese Premier Li Keqiang`s aircraft when it enters Pakistani airspace tomorrow at the start of his two-day visit, symbolising the close links between the two sides in the defence and strategic sectors.
The JF-17s, developed and built jointly by China and Pakistan, will guide the special Air China Boeing 747 aircraft to Nur Khan airbase, where a 21-gun salute will mark Li’s arrival, officials said.
The JF-17s will fly past the airbase as Li will be received by President Asif Ali Zardari and caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, they said.
This is Li`s first visit to Pakistan since assuming office in March and a "warm welcome awaits him", said a statement from the Foreign Office.
The visit will focus on "broadening the horizons of multi-faceted ties" between the two countries.
Li`s visit is taking place at a time when Pakistan has elected new national and provincial assemblies and the PML-N party is set to form the new government.
During his stay in Islamabad, Li will hold talks with Zardari and Khoso.
Zardari will host a luncheon for Li to which the leaders of major political parties have been invited.
The Prime Minister will also host a banquet for his Chinese counterpart.
On the second day of his visit, PML-N chief and Prime Minister-designate Nawaz Sharif will meet Li.
The two countries will also sign several memoranda of understanding for cooperation in different fields.
Li will address the Senate on May 23.