Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif met Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif met Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Ron at the Chinese High Commission on Thursday. He was accompanied by former prime minister Shahid Kahqan Abbasi, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N’s) Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and PML-N’s Secretary Information Marriyum Aurangzeb. This was Shehbaz’s first meeting with the chinese ambassador after his appointment, the meeting was held in a pleasant, lively and friendly environment. Shehbaz welcomed the ambassador and congratulated him on his appointment. He said China is like a second home to Pakistanis and visa versa. He expressed how this relationship between iron brothers would strengthen and deepen in the coming days. Calling China an exemplary partner and friend of Pakistan, he said during Nawaz Sharif’s term in government this friendship transformed into a lasting and strong economic partnership. This, he said, marked a new era of Pakistan China ties that turned the friendship that was deeper than oceans higher than the Himalayas and sweeter than honey into a bond of iron brotherhood. Shehbaz while thanking China and its people said that China helped Pakistan in an exemplary way during the pandemic. From sending masks, medics and gear to donating vaccines, the role of China should be recorded in golden words in history. He said no words could be enough to thank for this. He said every Pakistani so proud of its Chinese brethren and only a true friend could have helped in this manner. The PML-N president said the Belt and Road Initiative’s flagship project CPEC is not just an instrument of prosperity for Pakistan but for the entire region. He paid rich tribute to the resolve of President Xi Jinping and the commitment of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that could transform the future of not just the people of the two countries but of the region. He recalled that Nawaz Sharif made it possible only within 3 years that the majority of CPEC projects were either completed or were nearing completion. All this was achieved during an ailing economy and 18 hours of power outages but China held Pakistan’s hand and took it on the path to prosperity and development. Shehbaz expressed gratitude to God Almighty that the Chinese diplomats were safe in the Quetta Blast. This was a conspiracy to derail the ties between two countries. He said protection of all Chinese people in Pakistan was the responsibility of Pakistan government. He said special development zones are the solution to all problems for which we would need to work day in and day out. The Chinese ambassador appreciated Shehbaz’s visit and accorded him a warm welcome. He welcomed the delegation. He said that he already knew of Shehbaz because of his Punjab Speed fame in China. He said Shehbaz’s hard work as CM Punjab was very impressive and praiseworthy. Nong Rong said he could not keep himself from praising Shehbaz for his ability to deliver because he knew this from personal experience as he was a mayor in China himself. He said the two countries can benefit from Shehbaz Sharif’s idea, methods and performance in future. Nong Rong said Nawaz Sharif was an old friend of China and Beijing does not forget its friends. He expressed good wishes for Nawaz Sharif. The Chinese envoy said he endorsed Shehbaz’s perspective that nations cannot progress without industrialisation and industrial production. For this the philosophy of Industrial Zones can take this vision forward. Referring to his visit to Sahiwal power project he praised it and appreciated Shehbaz Sharif’s efforts. He said this project is considered the most speedily built project not just in Pakistan but all over the world which was inaugurated on May, 2017, six months before its scheduled time. The envoy invited Shehbaz to China to celebrate the 100 years of Chinese Communist Party in July. Shehbaz thanked the ambassador for the invitation and assured that Pakistan and PML-N will ensure that this day is celebrated wholeheartedly. He also pledged that the Communist Party Of China and PML-N will grow closer and their ties will grow stronger.