Ever-growing relations between the two countries in all directions


Dec 27, 2004 - Jan 02, 2005









Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's 4-day official visit to China last week has been extremely successful in further cementing the ever-growing relations between the two countries in all directions. The visit has a special significance as it provided a broad indication of a common urge on both sides to proceed onward with Pak-China togetherness and further deepen their mutually beneficial relations in the context of new challenges arising from rapid changes on the international horizon.

The one-to-one talks Shaukat Aziz had with his counterpart, China premier Wen Jiabao were quickly followed by seven agreements. The seven agreements signed between Pakistan and China in Beijing should serve to bring the two countries even closer. The accords are in addition to the general framework agreement relating to the utilization of $500 million buyers' credit meant for Chinese companies setting up projects in Pakistan. This should help boost Chinese investment which at present stands at four billion dollars in Pakistan. As Foreign Secretary Riaz Khokhar put it, the agreements would take the existing economic relationship between the two countries to "a higher level". The seven new agreements come a year after the two countries signed seven agreements during President Pervez Musharraf's visit to China last year. During that visit, the two countries also adopted "a roadmap designed to define their relationship in all spheres and pledged to fight what President Hu Jintao called "three forces" ethnic separatism, extremism and terrorism.

Already, China is involved in the construction of some mega projects in Pakistan. These include the Gwadar Port with the first phase already completed the Saidak copper mines, development of coal deposits in thar and a number of other energy projects, including the Chashma II nuclear power plant. All these economic agreements highlight the warmth and close understanding that has defined their relationship since Prime Ministers Mohammad Ali Bogra and Zhou En-Lai formed a personal equation at Bandung in 1955. This was followed by the signing of an agreement defining the border between China and areas whose defence was in Pakistan's hands. Subsequently, all governments in the two countries continued to adhere to a policy of close political and economic cooperation. Among the earliest landmark agreements were the construction of the Karakoram Highway and the aviation accord, under which PIA became the first airlines in the world to operate a service to and from China. Since then their "all-weather friendship" has reached a stage where it is truly called "higher than the Karakorams and deeper than the Arabian Sea".

Another highly significant development of the PM's visit was Shaukat Aziz's assurance for establishment of a specific industrial zone for China in Pakistan, evidently to help it gain easy access to markets in Africa and Middle East. Mention, in this regard, may also be made of Premier Wen's appreciation of his Pakistani counterpart's recognition of China as a market economy. This can help China strengthen its defence against anti-dumping charges. China is actively seeking recognition from its trading partners as an economy run on market forces of supply and demand rather than state controls. It will also be noted that Pakistan also needs to learn a great deal from China in so regulating its economy as to catch up expeditiously with the advanced market economy countries of the world. Since China has continued, since the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, to help Pakistan adjust to the fast developing world economic system, their common urge to deepen their economic cooperation should leave little to doubt.



Talking to Chinese media based in Pakistan, Prime Minister, before his departure for Beijing said that he was deeply impressed by China, which has made tremendous progress in all fields and he intended to adopt Chinese model for development for Pakistan.

China has undoubtedly made phenomenal progress in all spheres of national life primarily due to hard work, discipline and self-confidence. It has had a sincere, progressive and forward-looking leadership right from its emancipation in 1948 as a role model for the Chinese people. The Chinese development modes is certainly a source of immense motivation and inspiration for all developing countries especially Pakistan. Islamabad and Beijing have always enjoyed all weather friendship with cooperation in all fields including economy, trade and development. China is also playing a great role in Pakistan's development as is manifested through Gwadar Port and Thar Coal Power Projects. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz's inclination to take benefit from the Chinese development model is encouraging. To do so, however, it's imperative to create enabling atmosphere in the society by imbuing spirit of hard work, honesty and discipline backed by a sincere leadership to prove itself as a role model for the Pakistani people. Pakistan has a tremendous potential to achieve progress and development. What's needed is to emulate the Chinese process of articulate planning, scrupulous implementation and dynamic and committed leadership to lead the country towards its cherished goal. China has pursued this process religiously which has turned in into an economically and militarily strong and viable nation. Pakistan too will have follow the model to be strong enough to ameliorate the lot of its people and ward off threat to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.