Cashing in on Chinese goodwill: Technology and Agriculture
Concluding two-day successful visit to Pakistan, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and his entourage was given a warm send-off at Nur Khan Airbase by President Asif Ali Zardari, Caretaker Prime Minister Justice (r) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani and other civil & military officials. Earlier, addressing a special session of the Senate, the Chinese Premier Li vowed to extend further Chinese support to Pakistan in all strategic sectors including energy, science & technology and agriculture. Chinese Prime Minister used a beautiful poetic expression to define the existing ties between the two states, saying that ‘to be friends forever is the cherished desire of both nations, and all weathers friendship between the two countries ‘is precious than the gold’.
Long lasting the friendship between Pakistan and China, indeed, had been nurtured by the nations and fostered by the forefathers through generations to generations. Ever-since the inception of Pakistan, Beijing had always offered his support in every sphere of life when-ever Islamabad needed it the most—be it is in war or peace. It will be a little unfair if some of phrases that the Chinese Premier used to add feelings of warmth for Pakistan are not reproduced here. Like he said the denizens in China had coined a new phrase on Internet which means ‘China and Pakistan are iron brothers,’ and other phrase which impressed him the most was ‘If you love China, please love Pakistan’. In short, the Chinese Prime Minister used every good word that exists in his memory to create the impression of brotherhood between China and Pakistan. Looking back at history of the bilateral relations, a number of Chinese people, in fact, lost lives during the construction of the Karakoram Highway—a rout that connects Pakistan and China.
And even today, there exists a wide scope to grow the economic cooperation around KaraKoram Highway, fostering it an oil supply line from the Arabian Sea to Beijing through the Gwardar Port that the Chinese had taken over, and to ensure the success of the move, Pakistan must revisit its the USA-centric foreign policy. Over the years, Pakistan’s top leadership tends to tilt more towards Washington to prolong their personal rule overruling the country’s prime interests; a tendency that sometimes hurts feelings of its immediate neighbours. Thus timing of the tour of the Chinese Prime Minister makes the Chinese Premier visit more important. He had a detailed discussion with the Prime Minister of Pakistan-in-the-making that ultimately will bear fruit. To reciprocate the goodwill shown by the Chinese Prime Minister, Pakistan Prime minister-elect had been extended an invitation to visit China at a convenient time. The state of affairs, that Pakistan is facing today, warrants a similar good-will from the Pakistan government that is due to take over the reins of the country next month. To cash in on the common interests that two countries have coupled with the close proximity they enjoy, Prime Minister-elect Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will reciprocate the tour in immediate future to create a long lasting partnership between Pakistan and China in the region. For a quick economic turn-about, the Nawaz Government is going to wage an untiring struggle. For which crisis-ridden Pakistan has to adopt a ‘Look-East-Trade Policy’ in bid to do away with the dependency on the friends in the USA, the European Union and the United Kingdom. The economic turn-around that Pakistan is badly looking for can be nurtured with the enhanced bilateral trade not through the aid or expensive loans. Technology and Agriculture.
The cooperation in developing a trade corridor along KaraKoram Highway to China will bear fruit for Pakistan with immediate effect–that ultimate will make Pakistan and China really ‘iron brothers’ for all practical purposes. Pakistan has to rebuild its all institutions starting from the PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Pakistan Railways and what not. China which is the world’s fastest growing economy can offer the unique opportunity in every field to put Pakistan back on track. All that needs to be done is that the incoming government should tread carefully and should not put all eggs in one basket. Over dependency on the USA for the development in Pakistan has neither paid any dividend in the past nor will it do any good in future as well. The recession-hit USA is struggling to salvage her sinking economy at home. The USA is no longer in position to come a long way to help Pakistan once the country pulls out its forces from Afghanistan. For all practical purpose, Pakistan should tightly hold Chinese hand for the regional peace and prosperity. Frontier Post