"Our relations will further expand to our common benefit"
An interview with Masood Khalid, Ambassador of Pakistan to China
On April 19, 2007, Pakistan set up its third Consulate General in China in Chengdu, following Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In March 2009, the non-stop flight between Chengdu and Karachi, the first non-stop flight route from Chengdu to South Asia, was launched.
In December of 2014, Standing Committee of Chengdu Municipal People's Congress passed the decision about establishing a sister-city relationship with Lahore, Pakistan.
In mid-March 2015, Masood Khalid, Ambassador of Pakistan to China, visited Chengdu. Facing the achievements made in mutual exchange between Chengdu and Pakistan in recent years, Masood Khalid said, it is expected that Chengdu and Pakistan would explore more potential opportunities together in the future.
H: Which places have you visited in Chengdu during your visit this time? What are your impressions about Chengdu?
Masood Khalid: I have been planning to visit Chengdu for quite some time; to see this beautiful city and enjoy the famous Sichuan cuisine. In addition to the official meetings, I have been to Chengdu's research base for Giant Panda breeding, face-changing in Sichuan Opera, Jinli Cultural Street and Chengdu Global Center. The City of Chengdu presents a combination of modernity and traditions. The tall skyscrapers and an ever-vibrant economic and commercial scene blend harmoniously with Chengdu's rich cultural heritage.
H: What is your opinion on the relationship between Pakistan and Chengdu since the establishment of the Consulate in 2007? Chengdu and Lahore are going to be sister cities. Could you please tell me more about this?
Masood Khalid: The fact that the Government of Pakistan chose Chengdu to open its Consulate in this part of China speaks a lot about the importance we attach to Sichuan and Chengdu in particular.
Our business community is focusing on Chengdu as a destination for developing trade relations. A large number of businessmen from Pakistan visit Chengdu every year to attend various exhibitions and trade fairs and vice versa. Quite a significant number of companies based in Chengdu are engaged in a variety of projects in Pakistan. We foresee more Sichuan-based companies beginning work in projects in Pakistan this year. I am also happy to note that a large business delegation will be attending a business forum being organized in Islamabad by COMSATS of Pakistan.
There is a sizeable presence of Pakistani students in Sichuan Province, with its highest concentration in Chengdu. We have also established a Pakistan Study Centre at Sichuan University which augments our efforts to broaden and deepen our engagement with Chengdu by promoting exchange of ideas and research scholars.
It is due to our growing engagement with Chengdu that we are presently working with the Leadership of Chengdu to establish a sister-city relationship between Lahore, the Capital city of Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan, and Chengdu. I am confident that given the enthusiasm and hectic efforts being by made on both sides, our relations will further expand to our common benefit.