Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said Pakistan and China will ‘act collectively to protect mutual strategic interests’ and vowed to continue the CPEC project (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) despite criticism. “Our strategic compass is set in right direction and joint efforts would be made to promote peace, development and prosperity in the region,” the Foreign Minister said at a press conference, held here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Foreign Minister, who recently returned from Beijing where he held talks with his Chinese counterpart, said “no matter what, CPEC would continue towards the goal of its complete implementation.” “The CPEC is a well-considered project of regional connectivity, which will not only benefit Pakistan and China but entire region, offering immense employment opportunities,” he said.Qureshi said his visit to China was also significant in the backdrop of recent India-China military skirmishes in Ladakh, saying, “It is important to have a face-to-face discussion in emerging scenario”. “China’s stance is loud and clear that besides pursuing development, it is equally important to be vigilant about the regional situation,” he said. He dismissed the campaign launched on social media claiming drifting of the Kingdom’s policy on IIOJK and also rubbished the assumptions that Saudi Arabia had demanded Pakistan to pay back loans or stopped the oil supply. “No such decision taken,” he stated, adding that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had a ‘heart-to-heart relationship’ with a shared goal of peace,” he said.Qureshi announced to hold a meeting with a delegation of Afghan Taliban on Tuesday, saying “resumption of peace in Afghanistan is the main goal”. The seven-member delegation has arrived here from Qatar’s capital Doha on the invitation of the government of Pakistan.