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اتوار، 19 دسمبر، 2010

China’s tremendous support to Pakistan

THOUGH the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, has yet to conclude his visit and still has important engagements on his schedule, on the basis of what has transpired so far one can proudly say that the visit has proved to be a resounding success. It was stated time and again by the relevant quarters that the main focus of the discussions between leadership of the two countries would be strengthening of the economic relations further and signing of a number of agreements and MoUs plus finalization of 36 projects for investment has raised strong prospects for Chinese investment worth about 30 billion dollars in Pakistan during the next few years. If translated into reality, this would mean much for economic development of the country and prosperity of the nation.

It is because of the special nature of the relationship between the two countries that the Chinese leader received extraordinary protocol right from the entrance of his special aircraft into Pakistani airspace when two JF-17 thunder aircraft, one of the shining symbols of friendship as the fighter has been jointly produced by the two countries, escorted the distinguished guest. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was present at the airport along with his entire Cabinet to greet him. One thing is crystal clear that for China, economy is number one priority and it is striving hard to promote economic and commercial interests around the globe. Prior to Pakistan, Wen Jiabao visited India and apart from clinching business deals worth $16 billion, the two sides also vowed to take their bilateral trade to whooping $100 billion in foreseeable future. This has a lesson for us but unfortunately we are bogged down in crisis after crisis. President Asif Ali Zardari seems to be much charmed with China as he has so far undertaken six visits to the neighbouring country while Prime Minister Gilani also visited twice and is again likely to pay an official visit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart. But unfortunately, there are no indications that they have learnt anything during their visits, interaction with the leadership and people and by witnessing for themselves the economic miracles taking place there. Economy remains the least priority and the entire focus is on politicking and as a consequence even after 63 years of independence, we are still out with begging bowl. It is time we reorder our priorities, work hard like Chinese and devote fullest possible attention to achieve economic break through. Chinese have time and again demonstrated that they firmly stood by us and are eager to provide necessary assistance in this regard and it is now for us to exploit the opportunity to our advantage.

Pakistan and China have renewed pledge to make concerted effort for make the region a conflict-free zone, sticking into various accords for taking the Sino-Pak relationship to a new heights. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao vowed to further strengthen evergreen fraternal ties with Pakistan in diverse fields including trade, energy, technology.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani hosted separate events in honour of visiting dignitary.
The president hosted a dinner in the honour of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Presidential House. Earlier PM Gilani hosted a luncheon for the visiting counterpart and discussed the ways and means on how to deepen the strategic bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China also exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said both countries are good neighbours and have marched ahead through thick and thin and stood the test of time. He said the relationship had gone beyond bilateral ties and moved into strategic sphere. He vowed that at no cost China would waiver in it.
He recalled the devastation caused by flood and said Chinese people were deeply concerned by the disaster. He assured support in agriculture, infrastructure and energy on sustainable and durable basis.
Wen Jiabao said appreciated the warm welcome by Pakistan. He said the two sides will hold a series of events next year to further cement their ties for even a brighter future of their strategic partnership.
Gilani said the ties between the two countries were rock solid and the two would jointly celebrate 2011 as year of friendship, marking their 60th anniversary of relations.
He acknowledged with gratitude China's assistance to Pakistan in disasters. He said Pakistan supports one-China policy and condemns any attempt to undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He said the two countries share the ideals of safe, secure, prosperous neighborhood with our region free from strife and conflict, and a world embracing peace, harmony and understanding. "We want this vision to be translated into reality," he added.

Gilani said Pakistan supports the one-China policy and condemns any attempt to undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He said the two countries share the ideals of a safe, secure and prosperous neighbourhood and a region free from strife and conflict.
“We want this vision to be translated into reality,” he added.
Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said both countries were good neighbours and had marched ahead through thick and thin together.
China announced a $10 million grant for the citizens compensation programme for flood victims and a $400 million concession loan to help meet their needs.
Speaking at the National Disastrous Management Authority (NDMA), Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said China would continue to help Pakistan in the post-disaster phase of the floods. China would also provide resources and technical support to Pakistan for disaster prevention and forecasting technology.
He said China had the expertise in dealing with situations like the Attabad Lake and would send its experts to address the perils arising from the lake along the Karakoram Highway.
He said the major areas to be covered in his visit included the repairing of damaged infrastructure, roads and the rehabilitation of the flood victims.
Speaking on the occasion, Gilani thanked the Chinese government and people in helping Pakistan in the critical hour.
Gilani said 20 million people were homeless due to the floods and the government was giving $1,250 to each affected family whose house had been damaged in the floods.
NDMA Chairman Nadeem Ahmed briefed the Chinese premier on the loss of lives and infrastructure in the floods.
He said the floods affected over 20 million people and that 1,985 people were killed and over 3,000 injured. The total damages from the floods were worth $10 billion, including $5 billion losses in the agriculture and live stocks sectors, $1.5 billion in the housing sector and $1.3 billion in the communication sector, he added.
Addressing inaugural session of Pak-China Business Forum, Finance Minister Abdul Hafiz Sheikh said special zones will be built for Chinese entrepreneurs in Pakistan and that Sino-Pak ties are more deepening with the passage of time.
Pakistan-China Business Forum was of paramount importance for Pakistan, he said adding the agreements which were signed in 2006 had started trickling down their benefit. Government of Pakistan would provide more incentives to Chinese entrepreneurs for investment in Pakistan and special zones would be built on this count, he declared.
The two nations also stressed the importance of cultural exchange by inaugurating a new center dedicated to what Islamabad calls their ”all-weather” friendship.
China is Pakistan’s closest friend in Asia.
Wen and Raza Gilani joined dozens of other officials from both countries Saturday morning in a dance-filled ceremony to inaugurate the Pakistan-China Friendship Centre.
The white building featuring a latticework facade is to be used for cultural exchanges, conferences and other displays.
Much of the Pakistani capital also was decked out to welcome the Chinese premier. Huge posters bearing his picture and slogans such as ”Family” and ”Building the Future Together” were posted along the major roads in Islamabad.
Politicians, including PML –N leader Nawaz Sharif, PML-Q President Shujaat and JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman atttented the didnneer hosted by the President in honour of the visiting Chinese PM.
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