Quetta, June 7(ANI): Pakistan has not signed any agreement for handing over its Gwadar Port to China, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said.
Addressing a press conference at the Quetta Airport before his departure for Islamabad after a two-day visit, Gilani said that any decision regarding the Gwadar Port handover would be taken after consultation with the provincial government, The News reports.
Last month, the two nations had disagreed over whether Gilani had given the Chinese an entire naval base, right at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.
Pakistan's Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, who had accompanied the prime minister on his state visit to Beijing, announced the deal after Gilani returned home.
"We have asked our Chinese brothers to please build a naval base at Gwadar," he told journalists, adding that Pakistan had invited China to assume the management of the port's commercial operations.
However, China's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu disagreed, saying that the port had neither been offered nor accepted.
At a plenary session of the 10th Asia Security Summit this week, Chinese National Defence Minister Liang Guanglie disclaimed moves to build naval bases at Gwadar in Pakistan and at a Sri Lankan port.
Emphasising his credentials as a member of the Chinese State Council and Central Military Commission, he said: "We will have a very serious and careful study of an issue of such importance to the government and the military" like the reported move for establishing naval bases in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Indeed, "we will have exact plans and set up a panel to discuss it" if the move were for real. However, "I haven't heard of it," The Nation quoted General Liang, as saying. (ANI)