Cash-strapped Pakistan at 'low point', PM tells China

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PM Khan said there were other things like urban development, pollution and so many things that Pakistan faced and could benefit from the Chinese experience, adding, China has developed very fast in the area of agriculture.

Imran is scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang and both the countries are expected to sign several agreements.

In response, Pakistan's closest ally China promised "to provide support and help to the best of its ability" for Islamabad's economic woes, Reuters reports, adding, "Pakistan's foreign reserves have plunged 42 percent since the start of the year and now stand at about $7.8 billion, or less than two months of import cover".

India on Wednesday said it has lodged strong protests with China and Pakistan over the proposed bus service between the two countries through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) under the so called "China-Pakistan Economic Corridor" or "CPEC" project. However, there was no immediate official comment from Beijing on the report.

Pakistan is now hoping to secure help from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert the crisis in what would be the nation's 13th rescue package from the lender in 30 years.

Mr Khan's visit evoked considerable interest in China as it comes in the wake of his past criticism of the Dollars 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and remarks by his ministers to cut down some of the projects over debt concern.

Khan, who arrived in Beijing on Thursday evening for a five-day visit - his first to the city since his election victory in August - said before he left that he wanted to learn more from China, which is not only Pakistan's strategic partner but also its biggest foreign investor and aid donor.

In a meeting with Chinese IDCPC Minister Song Tao in Beijing, he said such exchanges would ensure that the exceptional friendship between Pakistan and China endured from generation to generation.

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.

While India has asserted that the bus service will be a "violation of India's sovereignty and territorial integrity", the Foreign Office of Pakistan accused New Delhi of trying to mislead the global community.

Analysts said Khan would push for financial assistance from Beijing, an important creditor of Pakistan, during the visit. "The people of Pakistan have always looked upon China very positively as a friend", he observed. The trip "is significant for President Xi Jinping, whose flagship BRI has had hiccups in recent months". The CPEC has also become a major irritant in India-China relations with New Delhi voicing its opposition to the infrastructure project as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.