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As you all are aware, for the past three weeks, Islamabad has seen continuing demonstrations by PTI and PAT. These demonstrations have brought the life in Islamabad to a standstill and severely hampered the working of the government machinery. The Chinese advance team which was here last week witnessed these disturbances and formed obvious conclusions about the unfortunate security situation created by these two parties.

In view of this unfortunate situation, the government of China has postponed the visit of President of China which was to take place later this month.

A formal announcement about the postponement will be issued simultaneously from both Islamabad and Beijing later today.

We were all looking forward to welcoming the president of one of the closest friends of Pakistan. The visit of the Chinese President was going to cap months of preparations, culminating in 38 MOUs and Agreements, both government to government and commercial, envisaging projects worth billions of dollars of investment in Pakistan, in various sectors of our national life, ranging from all important energy sector to infrastructure to economic and cultural cooperation. These agreements would have unleashed enormous opportunities for the growth and prosperity of the people of Pakistan.

We were all engaged in substantive preparations for the visit. Unfortunately, in the very final weeks, when our preparations were to be finalized, the Pakistan Secretariat, which houses all the Ministries, was closed down by these demonstrators. I am, however, pleased to inform the Committee that the Chinese authorities have agreed to re-schedule the visit of the Chinese President as early as possible so that the momentum generated by unprecedented pace of cooperation between our two countries can be maintained. We are in touch with the Chinese government on possible dates so that we can re-deem this situation and bring back the focus to the projects that were to be launched during the visit of the Chinese President.

In the coming months, the governments of Pakistan and China will work together and finalize all arrangements for the visit of Chinese President to Pakistan at an early date. Projects such as China Pakistan Economic Corridor are a landmark in our mutual cooperation, and would further cement the all weather relationship between our two countries and our two peoples into a strategic partnership.

5th September 2014

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