ONE element of friendship is one that can stand the test of time. But in addition, friendship should be somewhat fluid. As we grow and change, our interests, goals, and desires change. It would not be unreasonable to assume that our friends and friendships would change as a result. A friend is also one who does not necessarily accept us for who we are, but pushes us to be a better version of who we are. In other words aids us in becoming who we are meant to be.
The memory is still fresh in my mind when I entered the classroom of new school for the first time. I knew none and forgot to bring lunch to school. I was hungry so one of the classmates came and shared her lunch with me. I realized that day that it all begins with sharing and ends with helping each other rise against all odds. This is what friendship means to me and friends are tested in tough times. I met a Chinese girl at a local restaurant in Islamabad few days ago and she greeted me like an old friend. “We are Like Brothers and sisters.” She said. China and Pakistan are like Best friends which made me think about more than six decades long Pak-Sino friendship. This friendship have been evolved during all these years
Pakistan and China relationship began in 1950 when Pakistan was among the first countries to establish relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan and recognize the PRC. Following the 1962 Sino-Indian War, both countries has placed considerable importance on the maintenance of a extremely close and supportive relationship. Since then, the two countries have regularly exchanged high-level visits resulting in a variety of agreements both development and educational. China has provided economic, military and technical assistance to Pakistan and each considers the other a close strategic ally.
China has become Pakistan’s largest supplier of arms and its third-largest trading partner. Recently, both nations have decided to cooperate in improving Pakistan’s civilian nuclear program. A favorable relation with China is a pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy. China supported Pakistan’s opposition to the Soviet Union’s intervention in Afghanistan and is perceived by Pakistan as a regional counterweight to India and the United States. China and Pakistan also share close military relations, with China supplying a range of modern armaments to the Pakistani defense forces. China supports Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir while Pakistan supports China on the issues of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan. Lately, military cooperation has deepened with joint projects producing armaments ranging from fighter jets to guided missile frigates.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor is one of its kind Project. Without any doubt CPEC will boost the economy of Pakistan and will help us in becoming Asian Tiger but despite promoting China Pakistan Economic Corridor, China has also come forward as a friend in need and extend their support to provide the people of Pakistan the mode of transportation meeting International standards.
It is encouraging to know that Ruchir Sharma, the head of Morgan Stanley’s emerging markets, in his writing piece titled “Bucking Stagnation elsewhere, the quiet Rise of South Asia” particularly has mentioned CPEC as very positive for Pakistan. Pakistan’s economy is growing more than twice as fast as emerging markets other than India and China according to his assessment.
In conclusion, if the one who steps forward to help in need is a friend then I can proudly say that China is a great friend to Pakistan. China Pakistan Economic Corridor aka CPEC is a great effort made on committed leadership of PML N that will lead towards prosperity by attracting greater investment and rapid industrialization in Pakistan. Timely completion without any delays and successful implementation of this project can make it a game-changer for the people of Pakistan.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.