Islamabad, April 20, 2015: The President Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS), Senator Sehar Kamran (T.I.) has welcomed the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his maiden visit to Pakistan. She said Pakistan and China’s relations are exemplary in today’s day and age, as both countries have a wonderful record of standing beside one another in the hour of need.
Senator Kamran said this visit of the Chinese President is vital for Pakistan as the two sides are currently engaged in Pakistan-China Economic Corridor project, which will truly be a game-changer, for not only Pakistan, but for the region. This project has the potential to enhance economic activities manifold and will help in further development and bringing prosperity to Pakistan.
Senator Sehar Kamran said although the two countries only share a border of 523 kilometres, the level of cooperation and trust elicited in terms of strategic partnership, cultural exchanges has been ‘higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans’. She further said that with the changing geo-political and geo-economic scenario, the relations between Pakistan and China will play a vital role in determining the future of the region.
Senator Kamran reminisced how it was Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who first had the vision to build a strategic relationship with China, and that too at a time when it was isolated. It would not be wrong to surmise, therefore, that the progress we witness in Pakistan-China’s relations today is the direct result of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s efforts. As Foreign Minister, it was Mr. Bhutto who signed the Pakistan-China border agreement on 02 March 1963, followed by the Border Protocol in 1965. These two agreements alone have become instrumental in paving the way for a strong, durable, and multi-dimensional relationship in the years that followed.
Even the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, following in the footsteps of her father, worked hard to maintain the special relationship with China. When Shaheed Benazir Bhutto came to power in 1988, she announced her first official foreign visit would be to China.
The legacy was followed by PPP’s Co-Chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari. During his tenure as President, Mr. Asif Ali Zardari laid special emphasis on Pakistan’s relations with China. It should be remembered that the foundation of the Pakistan-China economic corridor was laid during the last PPP government.
Furthermore, Senator Sehar Kamran said this year also holds a special significance where the relations between the two are concerned, as 2015 has been declared as “Friendly Exchange Year”. She said we must fully utilise the opportunities presented in Pakistan-China’s relations to take our two great countries to further heights.