Chinese President Xi Jinping Unlikely to Participate in Pakistan National Day Parade

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Chinese President Xi Jinping Unlikely to Participate in Pakistan National Day Parade

File Photo: Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Beijing: 

Chinese President Xi Jinping is unlikely to visit Pakistan next month to be the chief guest at the National Day military parade, but would go to Islamabad in the next few months, officials said.

While reports from Pakistan earlier said Mr Jinping has been invited to attend the March 23 parade, Chinese officials said it is difficult as he is tied up with over a fortnight-long session of the Chinese parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC).

The NPC session would be followed by Boao Forum for Asia, which Mr Jinping is scheduled to inaugurate on March 26 in China's Sanya island.

Several top leaders including new Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena is due to attend the annual Boao Forum.

Top Pakistani leaders used to attend the event in the past.

Xi Jinping's visit prominently figured in the discussions between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who visited Islamabad last week and held talks with Pakistani leaders.

The National Day military parade would be held after a gap of seven years in Pakistan.

The reports of Xi Jinping's trip to Pakistan to attend the parade came in the backdrop of US President Barack Obama's second visit to India to attend the January 26 Republic Day parade.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying earlier told the media here that Xi Jinping's visit would take place in the first half of this year.

His visit to Pakistan has been due since September when he undertook his first visit to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India.

The Chinese president had to cancel his Pakistan visit due to political turmoil in Islamabad. It was the first time that a Chinese leader put off a visit to Pakistan, especially while visiting India.

Since then Pakistan was keen that he visit the country.

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