Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Raheel Sharif left for China on a two-day visit on Saturday, January 24, 2015. His visit to China has to be viewed in a series of visits, as from November till now, he has visited Afghanistan (November 7), the USA (November 16), Afghanistan (December 17) and the UK (January 14, 2015) to present Pakistan’s position and resolve against the terrorists internationally. His visits hold strategic importance as the U.S./NATO mission in Afghanistan has officially come to conclusion and the coming days will decide the future of Afghanistan and the region.
Raheel Sharif’s visit to China also coincided with the U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to India. In his visit, he met with his Chinese counterpart, General Qi Jianguo, and discussed regional, security and defence-related issues. He also met China’s Central Military Commission Vice Chairman, General Fan Changlong, in Beijing.
General Fan showed solidarity with Pakistan and praised Operation Zarb-e-Azb by referring to the operation as a decisive, bold and hard blow for terrorists. He said Pakistan and China are strategic partners and most important neighbours and ‘iron brothers’. The two countries agreed to enhance their long-term defence relationship as well as counter-terrorism cooperation.
The U.S. President, Barak Obama, reached India on Sunday, January 25, 2015 to discuss issues of bilateral importance. During the visit, the U.S. and India agreed to remove the mutual obstacles from the Indo-U.S. nuclear deal. The U.S. agreed to remove the tracking clause from the deal, on account of which the United States could track the whereabouts of the nuclear materials supplied to India under the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement. Reciprocally, India agreed to withdraw the Indian Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act, 2010 (CLNDA) which puts liability of nuclear accident on the supplier states, in case it happens in a nuclear plant.
The CLNDA was passed after the debate over Bhopal accident took place on the eve of Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement. In the city of Bhopal located in central India, on December 3, 1984, methylisocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from a plant owned, managed and operated by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL). According to official statistics, about 5,000 people died and several thousand other individuals suffered permanent or partial disabilities.
Both the states are expected to sign a deal on climate change aimed at reducing the consumption of carbon emitting fuel.