Pakistan, China dismiss India`s `territorial integrity` protest over CPEC bus service

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China is preparing to roll out the red carpet for Mr. Khan, who is set to arrive in Beijing on Friday, and would be formally welcomed at the Great Hall of the People on Saturday.

Mr Khan's trip to China comes amid unrest at home over the acquittal of a Pakistani Christian woman on death row for blasphemy. Both sides are also expected to sign several agreements and MoUs of cooperation in diverse fields.

"We have lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan on the proposed bus service that will operate through areas of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir State under the so-called "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor", the spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) told reporters.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Pakistan fully shared the mission of the Communist Party's International Department of the Central Committee (IDCPC) with regard to the promotion of people-to-people contacts, including exchanges between political parties, academia, media, youth, women and think tanks.

This is Prime Minister Imran Khan's first official visit to China on the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

He said with Pakistan having oldest relationship with China, it was the only friendly country in the world on whom people in Pakistan felt they could always depend in the hour of need. "India continues to maintain its illegal hold over Jammu & Kashmir through brutal use of force".

"China wants to avoid such transparency because exposing the terms of the CPEC project agreements could validate the U.S. criticism of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as a debt trap for emerging economies", the Post report said.

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India has held several rounds of conversations with the US, Iran and and other stakeholders on the issue. Refineries using Iranian oil have also faced insurance issues during renewals in recent months.

His visit here was regarded as significant as it is taking place amid critical remarks made by some ministers in Khan's Cabinet on the CPEC which had caused consternation among Chinese leaders considering the "all-weather" relations.

He said his government and party wanted to learn from China in this area because white-collar crime was very hard to detect.

During the meeting, Khan thanked President Xi for extending warm hospitality to him and his delegation in China.

He noted the assistance agreed to by Saudi Arabia, and said that China's support would allow Pakistan to avoid a large International Monetary Fund loan that may attract tough conditionalities which ultimately lead to inflation, squeeze the economy and put additional burden on the people.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Minister for Planning Makhdoom Khusro Bukhtiar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan and Pakistan Ambassador to China Masood Khalid were also present during the meeting.

India and Pakistan have been disputing the status of the Jammu and Kashmir region since the end of British rule in 1947.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (R) and China´s Premier Li Keqiang attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.