Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, July 20th, 2018

Gilani’s Visit to China

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Gilani’s Visit to China

Gilani's visit to China comes at the time when Pakistan is under immense pressure from International World on the issue of Osama. American Senators are already questioning the economic and technologic support by US government to Pakistan for combating terrorism. Only in the fiscal year 2010 that has ended on October 1, Pakistan has recieved a total of 2.7 billion dollars in aid and reimbursement. And in the coming year that was pledged to be almost one and half billion dollars. But the detriorating relation between Pakistan and America and the strong emphasis from American Senators to review the amount do not guarantee the support to be as pledged. Further, the current visit of Pakistani Prime Minister that has to end today with the meeting of Gilani with China's President Hu Jintao, has already send a message to America that Pakistan can also incline towards other supports for assistance.

Pak-China relations has been "As deep as ocean and as high as mountains"- as put by President Hu Jintao. This relation dates back to 1950 when Pakistan as a first Muslim country recognized People's Republic of China. And soon the diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China started in May, 1951. May, 2011 completes the 60 years of healthy relations between Pakistan and China. Both the countries celebrate the year 2011 as the Year of Pak-China Relations. There have been, as both the countries believe, great achievements of these long-lasting relations.

It was with the assistance of Pakistan that US National Secretary of State Henry Kessinger paid a visit to China in 1971, and afterwards both the countries were able to carry on their relations. China has always supported the Pakistan's stand on Kashmir and in return Pakistan has supported China's stance on Xianjiang. Gilani in his recent visit has vehemently supported the stance of China on Taiwan that can infuriate America to a certain extent. Pak-Cino relation has not been diplomatic alone.

China has always helped Pakistan regarding technology and military equipments. In the list, two 300 Megawatts Nuclear power plants and one recently built nuclear power plant at Chashma, A joint-ventured Chinese-Pakistani tank MBT-2000 (Al-khalid), Sino-Pak joint-ventured multirole fighter aircraft JF-17 Thunder, Assistance in Khushub Nuclear Programme and induction of F-22P frigate in Pakistan Navy, are included, apart from many other trade agreements and technological supports, among which FTA (Free Trade Agreement) signed in 2008 is of immense importance. In addition, the support of China in Pakistan's Gawadar deep seaport and Karakuram Highway cannot be neglected as well.

According to Chinese data, the commercial trade between the two countries totalled $ 8.7 billion in 2010. And both the countries are confident in making the two-way trade climb to a total of $ 15 billion by 2015. Pakistan has always strived for a strong military; therefore, she has always required the support of China, which has been provided both cheaply and timely; while China has always required the co-operation of Pakistan for natural resources and for finding a way to the warm waters of Indian Ocean.

In the status quo, that has put Pakistan in the danger of isolation from the international world regarding the issue of War against Terrorism, China has not left the hand of Pakistan. She has really proved that she is "All-weather friend" for Pakistan (Atleast from the evident side of her policies). Immediately after the operation by American Navy SEALs in Abbotabad, China made it clear that the sovereignity of Pakistan must be respected. It may be a usual diplomatic stance, because the penetration of American Special Forces in the neighborhood must be opposed by every country, but no other country has favored the notion of Pakistan as vehemently as China.

China has even forcefully praised the endeavors of Pakistan in the War against Terrorism, both before and during the visit and has strived for diverting the attentions of international world and especially America towards the sacrifices made by Pakistanis in the War against Terrorism. Though, Americans have, every now and then, given such indications that they do appreciate the sacrifices of Pakistanis in the war, but they have always used a "But" with it.

John Kerry's visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan which was made earlier this week could not do much in heeling the wounds in the Pak-US relations, because he was not very bold in his views, which at most seemed too much ambiguous. And Hilary Clinton's remarks given on Friday, 20th May, also do not signify the evident stand of American's regarding the issue of Osama. She has remarked that though there are not evidences that high government officials from Pakistan government knew about the hideout of Osama, but someone must have known, and she did not mention who that someone could be. On the contrary, the bold and forcefull support of China for Pakistan clearly depicts the fact that China doesnot like much military interference by American forces in South Asia; and the pledge by the Chinese to handover 50 JF-17 immediately to Pakistan is a prove to it.

The basic concern for the times to come in political scene would be, "How India and America are going to repond to the recent development in the relations of Pakistan and China?" China has clearly mentioned that America must respect Pakistan's sovereignity and must take Pakistan in confidence regarding such operations. This really makes US ponder upon their strict attitude towards Pakistan after Osama, but this won't be easy as the politicians and public in US are already putting pressure on Obama's government to further pressurize Pakistan and to cut the budget being spent for the War against Terrorism in Pakistan, as they question the loyalty of Pakistani establishment in the war. Whether US decide to go for leniency or further strictness in their relations with Pakistan has to be decided quickly. Because the events are heading fast and there is no margin for ambiguity and distrust.

India's response regarding the discovery of Osama from Pakistan has been more inclined towards the view that Pakistan should be kept under pressure for doing more against terrorism, as she has most of the time claimed terrorist organizations who are sheltered in Pakistan to be responsible for terrorism in their country . And she would keep the same stand and soon after the visit of Pakistani prime minister to China, may further force Pakistan to do more, instead of directly countering the stand of China. At the same time both China and India know that their relations regarding economic and technological development are improving. They are never going to risk the same. They traditionally, would keep their views intact. Further, India also seems to be interested in having a prominent position in South Asian affairs after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the visit of Manmohan Singh to Afghanistan proves the same.

Definitely, the death of Osama has given birth to the requirement of great diplomatic prudence on the part of the countries directly involved. The situation in hand has turned very fragile and there is no margin of errors. Errors in this regard can really spoil all the endeavors made so far in the War against Terrorism.

The writer is a new growing columnist of the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at sherzai@outlookafghanistan.com

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