Pak-China: Friends indeed

With relations between China and Pakistan growing stronger, the region is in for a period of economic upheaval
By Namra Mansoor

On a concrete wall running along a tunnel in the north of Pakistan, a phrase painted along Pakistani and Chinese flags reads, Long live Pak-China Friendship.
Having more than just ornamental value, the words have become a household chant and serve as a testimony to the time-tested friendship between the two countries. The relations are only growing in strength each day.
Five Pak-China Friendship Tunnels were recently inaugurated in Gilgit-Baltistan region that borders China. Measuring 7 km in length and built with Chinese collaboration, the tunnels are part of a restoration project undertaken on a 24 km-long segment of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) that was destroyed by flood-induced landslides in 2010. Worth $275 million, the five tunnels, two bridges and 78 culverts along the KKH will end the commuting woes of the locals and provide a boost to tourism across the country.
At the tunnels’ inauguration ceremony earlier this month, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif highlighted the strategic importance of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region in the China-Pakistan economic Corridor (CPEC), and how it would boost trade between the two countries through a dedicated road link. Nawaz also announced a budget of $270 million for continued development in the region.
CPEC is a multi-billion infrastructure development deal between Pakistan and China that has set stakes up high. The mega-deal aims at facilitating inter-regional trade between China, Iran, the Middle East, Africa and other regions through a framework of transport and communication lines laid from China’s Xinjiang up to Pakistan’s deep seaport in Gwadar.
In what has become China’s largest international investment deal so far, CPEC showcases the importance and benefits the Sino-Pak friendship offers the two sides.
Win, win
As beneficial as it is for China, the CPEC is nothing short of a blessing for the trade market of Pakistan as well. Besides trade, transport, logistics, real estate, tourism and several other economic sectors are expected to benefit from the mega project.
With efficiency in goods transportation being the obvious outcome, better road links mean hundreds of thousands of tourists travelling from China will be able to access Pakistan’s beautiful north with ease, bringing back times when foreigners were seen a plenty in places like Hunza Valley and Skardu.
This year Hunza valley witnessed an influx of over 600,000 tourists, according to GB Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman. The number is certain to grow manifold in the years to come.
Building on the past
Apart from the continued economic cooperation, the Chinese have never failed to stand by Pakistan on the political front. The Chinese government was one of the first to recognize Pakistan’s role in the war on terror and encouraged the international community to help Islamabad deal with terrorism.
The two countries continue to share a common interest in each other’s betterment. In 2010, a Chinese company signed a deal with Pakistan Stone Development Company to regularize import of precious stones from Balochistan, making way for export of tonnes of Cotan beige and Mastung beige quality marble to China. China is also helping Pakistan cope with energy crisis, assisting in the building of six nuclear reactors with a total installed capacity of 3.4 million kilowatts.
“Development of the CPEC and continued collaboration between China and Pakistan spell a boon not only for the two sides, but the region as a whole. The infrastructural development has ushered a visible positivity in the real estate sector and the effects on other industries are certain to be far reaching as well,” said CEO Zeeshan Ali Khan.

  • Kamath.

    With Chinese as big brother in need, Pakistan may turn out to be an Asian tiger and mini-superpower sooner than expected. . So good luck to Pakistan . The architect of this relationship is prime minister N. Shariff and deserves all the applause. Wish you well.

  • posit

    China is an ethnofascist-imperialist country and Pakistan is an islamic fascist country and a quisling society of islamic imperialism.
    Their collaboration can bring nothing good for mankind.

    Friendship is something noble and this word should be used only when noble intentions are in the process. This cannot be said of China or Pakistan.

    Other countries are not free of trouble and evils – but what China, Pakistan and N. Korea do is very evil and dangerous.

    The co-operation between China and Pakistan will bring about more fascism.

  • bjk

    Kamath sahib, you forgot the mandatory disclaimer that actually it was j-sab who with immense foresight, was the first shucks to see the value of this Ram-Bharat type of brotherhood and got things moving by creating the land of the Pure!

  • Kamath

    Now Pak politicians are going to sing,” Pakistani-Chini Bhai, Bhai”. Many years ago, former ambassador Dawood Khan in China praised this relationship and said,” The friendship between Pakistan and China will be higher than mountains, deeper than ocean, stronger than honey and stonger than steel”.Then he walked backwards kow towing.
    That is called ” Lucknowki takalluf” unmatched by any court standards even in the Oudh court.

  • Kamath

    I meant sweeter than honey!!!

  • posit

    The word “friendship” evokes something noble for noble purposes.
    that is the sentiment of the good-natured people.

    Islam’s long-term goal is to exterminate non-believers (=non-muslims).
    China’s goal is to strengthen its ethnofascism and imperialism.

    Pakistan’s goal is to get allies for their hate and slander against India, hindus and hindu religions.
    China wants to curtail freedoms and rights that do not fit into the program of the CC of the totalitarian chinese (pseudo)comm. party (no matter that pakistani communists have been exterminated).

    why ignore these facts?

  • romain

    Wonder Pakistanis dont want to play cricket with China. Why do they keep begging the Indians to do so.

  • Really China is true friend of Pakistani He helped Pakistan in every difficulties……….LOVE YOU CHINA

  • posit

    to malik

    China’s help to Pakistan has actually intensified/strengthened islamic fascism in Pakistan – and China tries to ignore it or use it for its own foreign policy goals.
    China’s “help” is good only for the ruling islamofascist elite of Pakistan – not for the common man.