South Asia

China PM Wen Jiabao hails Pakistani anti-terror efforts

Wen Jiabao (l) speaks to Pakistan's parliament, 19 December 2010
Image caption Mr Wen spoke to a joint session of parliament and drew a full audience

Chinese Prime Minster Wen Jiabao has praised Pakistan's efforts in the international fight against terrorism.

In a speech to Pakistan's parliament, Mr Wen also called on the international community to do more to help Pakistan in its fight against militancy.

He spoke two days after a US strategic review of the Afghan war said Pakistan must do more to beat militants.

Mr Wen was speaking at the end of a three-day visit to Pakistan aimed at boosting China's main regional ally.

China signed deals worth $10bn during the visit.

Loyal ally

All of Pakistan's ruling and opposition parliamentarians were in attendance as Wen Jiabao took the floor on Sunday.

He was quick to lend his voice in support of Pakistan's efforts against militancy.

Image caption Mr Wen's speech was seen as major boost to a key regional ally

Mr Wen said Pakistan had made immense sacrifices in the international fight against terrorism. He said the country's help had also been instrumental in helping to control the growth of terror.

Mr Wen called on the international community to appreciate and support Pakistan in its struggle against this "menace".

He said China remained committed to helping Pakistan through troubled times.

The Chinese premier's comments appear to be aimed at bolstering support for Pakistan.

The country has come under increasing criticism from the West for its alleged support of international Islamic militants.

In this context Mr Wen's visit is seen to be of immense importance.

The two countries reached several deals in the energy and defence sector worth billions of dollars during the tour.

China remains Pakistan's staunchest ally and has often used its international clout to support its perpetually beleaguered friend.

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