News Analysis |
Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar was called upon by the Chinese Ambassador, Yao Jing, on Wednesday. The crux of the meeting revolved around reiterating Pak-China ties in terms of economic cooperation and development within various sectors and projects initiated under the ambit of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor).
Ms. Akhtar was duly vocal in appreciating the continued assistance China was providing Pakistan for its economic development. The Minister also shared Pakistan’s stance on issues relevant to the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) which were discussed at a recently concluded conference in Paris. Pakistan’s goals of commitment to combatting terrorism and cracking down on terror financing as well as money laundering were renewed.
She also mentioned Pakistan’s innumerable sacrifices in the way of participating in the war on terror are being recognized the world over. Ms. Akhtar ensured the envoy that Pakistan will maintain this spirit in the process of obliterating those sources that nurture acts of terror. Yao Jing expressed his approval on the manner in which Pakistan tackled the FATF issues while appreciating the government’s resolve stand up to developmental challenges.
With the General Elections looming on the horizon these visits could be routinized calls to set precedents for newer governments. However the close succession of visits by Chinese and US representatives shows the urgency of greater powers in continuing alliances within South Asia.
He pledged China’s unwavering support to Pakistan whenever and wherever it was needed. He assured Ms. Akhtar of his earnestness in upholding the binding momentum of bilateral economic partnership between their two countries. On matters related to the FATF, the Financial Minister had also hosted the US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Alice G. Wells, in Islamabad earlier on Tuesday.
Ms Wells also received a debrief on the meeting in Paris and was assured of measures being taken to address US concerns in this regard. Ms Wells also visited upon Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi to exchange views on regional security and bilateral cooperation in the interest of mutual commitment. Both acknowledged the common goal of peace and regional stability encouraged enduring engagement at various levels.
Ms. Wells’ visit was preceded by a visit to US officials and troops stationed in Kabul, where the US-Afghan peace process was outlined as part of a more inclusive strategy for South Asia. With the General Elections looming on the horizon these visits could be routinized calls to set precedents for newer governments.
However, the close succession of visits by Chinese and US representatives shows the urgency of greater powers in continuing alliances within South Asia. As Middle Eastern markets sway between the unipolarity of America and the multipolarity of Europe and China, Pakistan and India’s role to tap into landlocked countries ranges from security to trade to geopolitics.