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“Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I begin by expressing my pleasure to visit Fudan University and speak to you. The lofty traditions of this great institution are rivaled by only few in the world. Fudan University has inspired several generations of China’s leaders and scholars who have helped to build your great country and splendid society.

At the outset, I congratulate Higher Education Press of China and Peking University, on publication of the first Urdu-Chinese Dictionary. I am happy that its launching coincides with the 63rd anniversary of our diplomatic relations, which were formalized in May 1951.

The first Urdu-Chinese dictionary is, indeed, a work of dedication, commitment and professionalism. Its publication is a remarkable achievement.

In academic sense, the Dictionary bridges two languages with distinct roots and traditions — and different syntax and grammar.

In social and political sense, it strengthens linkages between peoples of Pakistan and China, who are like “iron brothers”.

As I speak on our languages and linkages, I am reminded of long historic connections between China and Pakistan.

My thoughts today are taking me to the antiquity and the fabled Silk Route. Famous Chinese scholars Xuan Zhuang and Fa Xian traversed the Silk Route to a famous University in Taxila, just thirty miles from our capital Islamabad. Their travelogue, preserved in the literary epic, “Journey to the West”, is a journey between China and Pakistan.

I am also a bit nostalgic and want to go down the memory lane. Pakistan and China won independence almost at the same time. I grew up in the formative years of our two newly independent countries. I am a witness to the friendship of four generations of our leaderships. I am happy that these glowing traditions have been passed to the fifth generation leadership of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. In the last six decades, our friendship has overseen global upheavals and domestic changes. This shows how resilient our relationship is.

I have no doubt that Urdu-Chinese Dictionary will consolidate our relationship. It will ease the journeys between our two countries. I also have no doubt that Urdu-Chinese Dictionary will help us better address the challenges of our future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

A question frequently asked within our two countries and outside is that will we be able to carry forward our tested relationship to our future generations?

My answer to this question is YES.

The reason of my optimism is that our two countries share an idealism of peaceful neighbourhood. Both Pakistan and China want our region free from strife and conflict; and a world embracing peace, harmony and understanding. On major issues of peace and security, we have complete unanimity of views. We want peace so that we can concentrate on reducing poverty and improving lives of our peoples. Such shared values are a platform for lasting friendship.

The second reason of my optimism is that the governments in Pakistan and China have charted a clear path of deepening our strategic cooperative partnership in the next five years. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship project that is driving economic cooperation between our two countries. Similarly, Chinese enterprises are benefiting from incentives in Pakistan for investments in telecommunications, textile, energy and infrastructure sectors. The shared goal of economic prosperity will strengthen our bonds in the future.

The third and perhaps, the most important reason of my optimism is that peoples of the two countries, on the streets, in cities and in villages, have a sense of affection and love for each other. We need to nurture these sentiments among our future generations. We must make efforts to promote people to people contacts in the fields of education, culture, art, sports and media.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The first Urdu-Chinese Dictionary reinforces my optimism for the future. With this invaluable work, our two peoples can further improve their contacts and promote understanding of their distinct languages and culture.

I commend the efforts of Professor Kong Julan and her team of distinguished experts who compiled the dictionary. I am happy to know that her team included experts from both China and Pakistan.

I also appreciate the contributions of Mr. Su Yuheng and his colleagues at Higher Education Press of China for publishing the dictionary.

I hope that the first edition will sell rapidly and soon all of you will be busy to print the second edition.

I thank you.”

May 21,2014

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