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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Pak-China friendship: Partners in countering challenges

Prof Zamir Ahmed Awan, a non resident fellow of CCG, talks about the prospects of Pak-China friendship and how it can bring a wave of opportunities for the civilians once the economic projects are completed. He further highlights how both countries are committed to ending state terrorism.

The US did not digest the rise of China and perceived it as a threat. It is projected that the Chinese economy may surpass the US economy much earlier than expected. It has created more jealousy and hostility. The US has accelerated the anti-China drive and using bias & impartial media to promote the anti-China narrative. The US is taking all possible initiatives to counter China, contain China, and resist China’s rise.

A worldwide campaign has been seen to harass, kidnap or kill Chinese nationals around the globe. Chinese projects, businesses, and interests are attacked in various parts of the world, including America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, etc. A compilation of open-source data shows a total of 18 attacks causing 40 deaths of Chinese nationals overseas in the past decade.

Since the launch of Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) in 2013, the US has opposed it, and few countries have joined the US camp to fight it and try to undermine it. However, few countries are actively involved in sabotaging and damaging BRI by force and even used terrorism to derail the BRI.

Read more: Pak-China friendship: Could it get any better?

Anti-China countries are using the family of BRI countries as their battlefields and harming Chinese nationals or their assets and interests globally.

China takes its friendship to Pakistan to next level 

Among the six planned economic corridors under BRI, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is the flagship project and one of the most advanced stage corridors. The fruits of these projects are visible, and the people of Pakistan are grateful to the Chinese government and people for such a mega initiative.

Enemies of China are also active in Pakistan to harm Chinese nationals, Chinese projects, Chinese interests, and assets. In the past few years, many attempts were made to target Chinese citizens, projects, assets, and interests, but the brave security forces of Pakistan have made all such attempts fail.

Many personnel of security forces has sacrificed their lives to save our Chinese brothers and sisters. All these martyrs are the heroes of China-Pakistan’s eternal friendship. People of Pakistan and China value their bravery and sacrifices and permanently remember them.

Pakistan has conceived and anticipated such threats and raised two divisions of qualified, well-trained, well-equipped forces within the Pakistan Army to protect Chinese nationals and their assets or interest.

The dedicated security force has been specially trained to look after the Chinese and provide them total security. Both governments and respective organizations worked in close liaison and perfect harmony and made all evil designs a failure in the past.

Read more: The man behind 70 years of Pak-China friendship

Generally speaking, the ordinary citizen in Pakistan loves China and respects the Chinese and, by all means, wanted to protect the Chinese. Still, the dedicated force is tuned and charged with a special spirit of “Pure friendship” with China. In Pakistani culture, the worth of friendship is part of our culture and traditions. The dedicated force is prepared to sacrifice their own lives to protect the valued friendship.

Dasu attack: a hurdle in friendship?

However, the unpleasant incident at the Dasu hydropower project happened on 14 July 2021. A total of 12 precious human lives were lost and several injured, including 9 Chinese nationals. The whole nation is grieved and saddened and sympathizes with the families of victims of the incident.

The Interior Minister of Pakistan held an emergency meeting with the Ambassador of China in Islamabad to discuss the situation. The Prime Minister of Pakistan contacted Chinese Premier Li KeQiang and reassured Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that every effort would be made to investigate the Dasu bus tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of 12 persons, including nine Chinese citizens.

“All efforts will be made to investigate the incident,” the PM said and added that the security of Chinese citizens in Pakistan is the government’s top priority.

He said that hostile forces would not be permitted to damage the fraternal relations between the two countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan is “personally supervising all developments in this regard” and that the government is closely coordinating with the Chinese embassy. “We are committed to fighting the menace of terrorism together,” he had said. The Foreign Minister of Pakistan is in close contact with the Chinese counterpart and may visit China soon.

Read more: Traces of explosives found at Dasu bus incident site

A joint investigation team comprising Pakistani experts and Chinese experts has concluded that it was a terrorist act. Both governments are determined to trace down the actors and reach them wherever they hide and punish them.

In the past, several attacks targeting Chinese nationals or their interests were failed by the security forces of Pakistan. Upon investigations, the evidence led that such attacks were planned, designed by the Indians, used Afghanistan soil to launched.

Pakistan has compiled undeniable and irrefutable evidence and provided the dossier to the United Nations and relevant quarters already.

India is in a direct confrontation with China at Ladakh and Line of Actual Control (LAC). India is also part of the “Quad” – an alliance of the US, Japan, India, and Australia to counter China, contain China and resist China’s rise.

India is also the worst adversary of Pakistan and has fought four wars and disputes over the border in the Kashmir region. So India finds it convenient to attack Chinese nationals and assets in Pakistan to harm both China and Pakistan.

There are confirmed reports that the notorious intelligence agency of India, “RAW” has been allocated a huge amount of funds and resources to sabotage CPEC and harm Chinese citizens and their interest in Pakistan.

The objective was to create misunderstanding and mistrust between the two sincere friends. Still, credit goes to the two countries’ leadership for foiling designs of the enemies of Sino-Pak friendship.

Read more: Matchmaking Centres in Pakistan: A new threat to Pak-China friendship?

India uses the instability, lawlessness, and war-like situation in Afghanistan and operating its terrorism from Afghan soil. That is why India is one of the countries that oppose peace and stability in Afghanistan and acts as a spoiler in the Afghan peace process.

Although India wanted to spoil the relationship based on pure friendship and love between China and Pakistan, but would never succeed. The roots of our friendships are so deep that India may not be able to shake them.

Contrarily, China and Pakistan have come even closer, and the project is continued without any disruption. China and Pakistan may cooperate in tracking down the actual actors and conduct joint operations to reach the terrorists, planners, financiers, and facilitators. And may set an example to punish them.

Pak-China collaboration against terrorism 

Chinese Foreign Office Spokesperson, Mr. Zhai Li Jian, who has served in Pakistan as deputy head of mission in Iswlamabad, and close friend of Pakistan, in a routine press briefing, said that China is highly concerned about and strongly condemns the bus blast in Pakistan on 14 July. China’s cross-departmental joint working group to Pakistan is working intensively with the Pakistani side.

We believe that China and Pakistan will find out the truth and bring the perpetrators to justice. China will continue to firmly support Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts and earnestly protect the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions in Pakistan.

Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met at the General Headquarters on Monday and stressed the need to “thwart designs of all inimical forces challenging the resolve of Pakistan and China, particularly strategic cooperation between the two sides.”

The tragic incident was, no doubt, part of the conspiracies being hatched by enemies of peace, progress, and development as the manpower working on purely a developmental project was targeted.

One must appreciate the positive and significant contribution made by the Chinese envoy, Mr. Nong Rong, who remained instrumental in sorting out the issue appropriately. A strong and solid message to the forces inimical to Sino-Pak friendship that they cannot succeed in their designs to harm the cooperative relationship between the two countries, which is scaling new heights with time.

China and Pakistan both are committed to facing the challenges jointly and will definitely trace out the terrorists, the planners, the financiers, those who provided them weapons and training, and will bring them to justice, wherever they might be hiding, but they will be definitely outreached soon.

All channels may be utilized to avoid similar incidents in the future. Both China and Pakistan may approach the UN Security Council, or any other international platform, once the concrete evidence is compiled. If required, diplomatic channels will also be utilized too. Trust, China-Pakistan joint efforts will be fruitful in averting any future disasters.

The strong and deep-rooted relationship between the two “Iron Brothers” can not be challenged!

Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist (ex-diplomat), editor, analyst, a non-resident fellow at the Center for China and Globalization(CCG) and National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. He can be reached at awanzamir@yahoo.com. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.