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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Wen inaugurates Pak-China Friendship Centre

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday inaugurated the Pak-China Friendship Centre - an icon of their evergreen relationship and a platform for promotion of their mutual cultural ties.

Chinese Premier who is on a three-day official visit to Pakistan, unveiled the plaque of the Centre at Shakarparian along with Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.

The foundation of the Centre was also laid by the Chinese Premier Wen in April 2005. It is a gift from the Chinese government to the people of Pakistan and has been built at a cost of Rs 3 billion in 22 months.

Wen Jiabao was presented bouquets by two children clad in traditional Pakistani dress as he arrived at the Pak-China Culture Centre.

Keys of the Centre were handed over by Chinese Cultural Minister Cai Wu to his Pakistani counterpart Pir Aftab Shah Gilani before its inaugural.

Premier Wen Jiabao in his brief remarks said he was pleased to launch the new Pak-China Friendship centre and said it would be a symbol of the deep bond between the two countries.

He said Pak-China Friendship Association would be organising 1000 cataract operations of Pakistanis and help bring light to their lives.

He said they would again be able to see the world around them; their friends, beautiful country and of course the Chinese people.

Wen Jiabao said the Beijing hospital would perform the operations free of charge as it would be a gesture of deep friendship for the people of Pakistan.

He said Chinese Association for friendship was fully capable of doing so and performed similar operations in several foreign countries, he added.

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said the launching of the centre reflects the closeness of the two people and termed it a manifestation of the close bonds of friendship and affection.

He said the Chinese people have once again reached out to the people of Pakistan, this time to those blinded by cataract and thousands would again be able to see light of the world.

“Many would see light again, thanks to the wonderful initiative by the Chinese people,” Gilani said.

He said today the Chinese Friendship Association brings another gift to the people of Pakistan, that would long be remembered.

He thanked the administrator and the Chinese Friendship Association for this kind gesture.

The President of the Pak-China Friendship Association said China would support 1000 cataract operations in Pakistan, to be conducted by doctors of the Beijing hospital, who have done similar operations in many parts of the country with 100 percent success rate.

He assured China’s full support to the new friendship centre.

School children in traditional dresses carrying Pakistani and Chinese flags also presented dance on the occasion.

Near the ‘Crescent and Star’ famed intersection and with lush green Shakarparian hills in the backdrop, the Pak-China Friendship Centre stands distinguished depicting the splendour of unique friendly relations between the two countries.

Premier Wen Jiabao was briefed about various sections of the Centre that houses a 800-seat auditorium, conference centre for 200-250 persons, exhibition area, multi-purpose hall, and an art and dance centre over 12 acres of land. He was apprised that the Centre built by the Shanghai Construction Group would be now run by the Ministry of Culture after its inauguration.

He was told that the Centre would help enhance people-to-people contacts and help the two sides understand each others’ cultures.

The Chinese premier took round of the Centre and appreciated the work done making the building an important cultural platform for boosting the art and cultural activities of Pakistan and China.

He visited the gallery with Chinese brush paintings and photographs put on display. The exhibition marked the iconic friendship between Pakistan and China having all the ingredients of amity, goodwill and harmony.

Premier Wen also interacted with the people who contributed towards the establishment of Pak-China Friendship Centre.

Later, he planted a sapling of Pine in the premises of the Centre as a gesture of growing friendly relations between Pakistan and China.-- APP

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