China hopeful for Pakistan’s political parties to cooperatively form new govt

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan underwent its much-awaited general elections on February 8, China congratulated Islamabad, expressing hope that “the political parties in Pakistan could work together to form a new government after the polls.

Pakistan conducted its 12th general polls earlier this month with around 60.6 million voters exercising their democratic right. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) backed candidates took the lead in the electoral race, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) came second and third, respectively.

Following the elections, political parties are engaged in wheeling and dealing as a number of candidates joined the Shehbaz Sharif-led party. Negotiations are also underway between PPP and PML-N regarding the formation of the next government.

Moreover, PTI initially said it would sit in the opposition and not be a part of the government. However, the Imran Khan-founded party on Monday announced its independents will join the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and said it would form an alliance with SIC and Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM).

“We noted that general elections in Pakistan were held in a generally steady and smooth manner, and we offer our congratulations,” said Mao Ning, the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry for Foreign Affairs, during a routine briefing on Monday.

“As a close and friendly neighbour, China fully respects the choices of Pakistani people and sincerely hopes that relevant parties of Pakistan will work together to uphold the political solidarity and social stability after the elections,” she added.

The spokesperson said that China and Pakistan were all-weather strategic cooperative partners and Beijing hoped to work with Islamabad to build on the traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation in various areas and accelerate the building of an even closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era for the benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

In response to a query about the delay in forming a government in Pakistan, she said that the Chinese side noted that the Pakistan election was generally steady and smooth and it respected the choice of Pakistani people. “As to the situation you mentioned, we believe the relevant parties in Pakistan can stick to solidarity and work together to solve relevant issues,” she reminded.

Governments around the world continue to felicitate Pakistan over the conduct of elections, including the United States which announced working with a new government in the country. Iran was the first country to congratulate the people and government of Pakistan on holding the nationwide general polls.

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