By: Shakil Ur Rehman
The Pakistan-China friendship is deeply rooted and has always been judged an exemplary ever since its establishment. It is because of this very fact that the peoples and governments of the two countries vehemently claim that their friendship is higher than Himalaya and deeper than ocean. While having glance of the present day developments, one finds the brotherly relationships between the two neighbors. The wholehearted and sincere contribution on part of People’s Republic of China to Pakistan in its infrastructural development is above board; the diplomatic support is internationally acknowledged and their commitment to continue with their established friendship traditions seems un-shakable. When in difficult hours, Pakistan pins expectations on its arch friend, People’s Republic of China and has never been dis-appointed. The pace with which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is implemented, the project seems guaranteed to be materialized with success. Not only the Gwadar port is going to be linked with China through communication systems – the highway network in particular but all the 43 major projects will also be developed in the first phase. Almost nine mega projects under CPEC have already been completed while 13 are under implementation stage. The speed with which the CPEC projects are implemented, there exists every hope that the day is not far away when it will be fully completed. Although, hardly there exists any doubt, as far as the CPEC implementation arrangements are concerned, yet the common citizen is equally justified to be anxious to know about the pace of progress and that is why these words are being contributed.
Anyhow, it is not difficult to assess the magnitude of the contribution which the CPEC is going to share in socio-economic well-being of the people of Pakistan on its completion. How many people are to get direct employment is also not a hidden notion rather being admitted as a visible reality. Further, it is the project which will be going to benefit the entire country and therefore transmission of information on implementation process is bound to make value addition of it as well.
Keeping in view the geographical scenario, Afghanistan may prove an important beneficiary of the CPEC as well. It seems a common desire of both Chinese and Pakistanis that the Afghans may also benefit from this multi-sectoral project for getting their socio-economic uplift ensured but subject to restoration of peace. When one talks about expansion of economic and trade activities in Afghanistan it would be difficult to oversight the importance of the historic City of Peshawar. In other words, the CPEC seems the revival of time old history. It is because of this very fact that the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Pakistan, H.E. Yao Jing aspired to having an exhibition football match and his sincere feelings were equally shared immediately. Resultantly, a fantastic football event was held between the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the Chinese Embassy teams at the picturesque city of Abbottabad during the second half of 2018. The successful conduct of the match led to the visit of Chinese cultural troupe to Peshawar where they had performed in a five star hotel. The interesting fact of the scenario is that it was the first activity of the kind on part of the Chinese cultural troupe over the past almost 18 years which was warmly welcomed as well. On successful conduct of both the aforesaid initiatives, the Chinese Ambassador went ahead and arranged the Chinese National Day function in Peshawar– the first ever ceremony of the kind in Peshawar which also proved highly successful. All this strengthened the realization that Chinese Embassy was quite conscious of its role in promoting relationship at people level between both the countries. A Peshawar-based senior Pakistani journalist, Amjad Aziz Malik, has been the motivating force in getting all the three initiatives materialized and has been promoting the soft image of the country for quite some time. Presently he is also rendering his services as the Secretary General of AIPS ASIA, (Asian Sports Journalists Federation) and gaining fame not only for himself but also for the country. These success stories will always be judged the golden chapter in the relationship history of both the countries. The success story also promoted attractions for bringing Peshawarites closer to their Chinese friends. The establishment of Chinese Window in Peshawar which is also known the city of flowers is the latest development in this respect.
While entering the well-decorated premises of the Chinese Window one is mistaken to be in China. The Window encompasses different galleries, one among them is CPEC Gallery which attracts the business and trade community in particular besides the common citizens.
To our utter astonishment, within a few days of the establishment of China Window it received the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, members of provincial assembly, Nigaht Yasmin Orakzai and Sumaira Shams; the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Asif, Additional Inspector General of Police, Mr. Shahzad Aslam and Mr. Feroze Shah and ex-Chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, Dr. Naseem Ashraf amongst almost 500 dignitaries and prominent citizens. Now the China Window is proving a big source of attraction for the students of schools and colleges in particular and visits by the inmates of the institutions of Peshawar and its surrounding areas is becoming a routine practice. Amongst the visitors the government officials are taking special interest in the working of the Window whose visits are also proving a source of strength for it as well. In the days to come, the China Window seems to taking a visible place amongst all the contemporary arrangements to promoting mutual cooperation and understanding at the people level between both the countries.