Syed Mehdi Shah, the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), who has accompanied President Asif Ali Zardari to Guangdong in China to attend the inaugural function of the 16th Asian Games at Guangzhou, is being extended VIP treatment by the Chinese authorities. He is being treated on par with the other members of the Pakistani delegation, which has accompanied Zardari.
2. He was invited for a welcome banquet hosted by State Councillor Madam Liu Yangdong for the foreign dignitaries, who have come to participate in the inaugural ceremony of the Asian Games. He was also a member of the Pakistani delegation headed by Zardari which held bilateral talks on Sino-Pakistani relations on November 12,2010, with a Chinese delegation headed by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.
3. The Pakistani media has reported that Syed Mehdi Shah would be separately visiting Kashgar in the Chinese-controlled Xinjiang Province, at the head of a 17-member delegation, to attend an international fair on precious stones and explore the possibility of selling precious stones found in G.B in the international market. (13-11-10)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )