Pakistan is likely to have destinations for skiing in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said. He was speaking to Chinese journalists and also mentioned that Pakistan would like to bring cricket to China.
The PM said that the government is planning to develop the sport in Gilgit-Baltistan as it is neighboring the Khunjerab Pass or the Pakistan-China border.
“Skiing is the main sport in the Winter Olympics and Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have some tremendous spots for skiing but unfortunately Pakistan didn’t focus on this sport,” he said.
He was talking to Chinese journalists on Saturday. The following is an excerpt of their conversation:
Q: How do you evaluate the high level developed relationship of the two countries?
A: The relationship between the two countries has just grown stronger over time and the reason is that Pakistan feels that China always stood by it in tough times.
I was in school when the Karakoram Highway was being built. It was a collaboration between the Chinese government and Pakistan Army. It was a difficult venture as the roads were difficult with steep mountains. I still remember the number of people who died building the highway.
It is a deep relationship and so over time it grew stronger and CPEC strengthened it.
Q: What do you expect from China in Winter Olympics amid the pandemic?
A: This is the first Olympics I will ever be witnessing so I am looking forward to that. I was an international cricketer for over 20 years of my life as China doesn't play cricket, we would like teach China how to play cricket so that China can become a great cricket team.
I look forward to attending the game as a sportsman. Ever since I have been into politics I haven't had the chance to watch any sports.
The pandemic has affected sports events all over the world so in this context it is very admirable that China is hosting such a grand event.
Q: What do you expect from CPEC?
A: China grew its economy and pulled its people out of poverty. When we talk about geo-economy we want to focus on growing our economy by increasing our national wealth.
Q: What is your government doing for sustainable development for CPEC and what are your expectations from China?
A: The first phase of CPEC was connectivity and power generation and now CPEC has moved to the next stage where it is about the relocation of industry and we want to develop our industrial zone, especially in agriculture and technology. We want help to increase productivity in agriculture and livestock but also in information technology as it is the future.
Q: How do you see China’s development model and its people-centric approach?
A: The most impressive thing about China, which the whole world admits, is that the number of people, almost 700 million, have been taken out of poverty in the last 40 to 45 years. This never happened in human history before and this is what impresses the entire world whether they support them or not.
So if you ask me what impresses me most about China is this fact because my main objective is to raise people out of poverty in Pakistan.
Q: What is your message to China on physical fitness?
A: China never focused on sports a few years ago but it has been outshining in the Olympics now and this shows they have focused on fitness lately.