Musharraf voices support for Beijing Olympics

April 15th, 2008 - 12:01 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf
Beijing, April 14 (Xinhua) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf Monday voiced firm support for the Beijing Olympics, saying his country has taken all measures to ensure the security of the torch relay in Islamabad. “We have taken all measures to ensure its (Olympic torch relay’s) security and the relay is be held in a prestigious and safe manner,” Musharraf said in a speech at the Qinghua University.

“There is not one man in Pakistan who would do anything against the interests of China,” he said.

The Olympic torch relay is to arrive in Islamabad April 16.

Musharraf, in an interview with Xinhua prior to his China visit, said that he would take part in the torch relay ceremony.

“We have to take care that there is no infiltration by elements who are bent on disrupting our understanding and great relationship,” Musharraf told a gathering of about 200 students.

He said Pakistan firmly opposes any attempt to politicise the games.

“We think that politics must be kept out of sports. Sport generates brotherhood and closeness. If we bring politics into it, then the whole idea of sports is killed,” Musharraf said.

Musharraf said Pakistan considered the ties with China, an all-weather friend, as the backbone of its foreign policy.

He called the friendship the “living example of harmony”, saying it goes beyond the leadership and deep into the hearts of the people in two countries.

On economics and trade, Musharraf pledged more cooperation taking advantage of Pakistan’s position of “energy corridor” between China and the Middle East.

“We are very much in favour of a pipeline between the Gulf and China through Pakistan, and I have been speaking about this with your leadership,” Musharraf told the audience.

He called for efforts to step up Pakistan-China bilateral trade volume to $15 billion by 2011.

Pakistan and China would also expand educational cooperation, said the president, adding that the two sides will jointly set up an engineering and technology college in Islamabad.

Musharraf started his six-day state visit to China April 10 in Sanya city of southern China’s Hainan Province, where he attended the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) and held talks with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao.

After his arrival in the Chinese capital Sunday, Musharraf met with top legislator Wu Bangguo, premier Wen Jiabao and top political advisor Jia Qinglin.

He will visit northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region before ending the tour Tuesday.

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