ISLAMABAD –“The coming visit of the Chinese president Xi Jinping to Pakistan is of utmost strategic significance as it is expected to be a diplomatic and economic boost for Pakistan. The visit would give a clear message to the world that Pak-China partnership is moving towards new, unprecedented heights.”
These views were expressed in a roundtable organized by Pakistan Initiative – a newly launched think-tank and advocacy organization – here in Islamabad on Thursday.
While noting that multidimensional bilateral partnership has been an example for the community of nations over past 6 decades, the roundtable deliberated upon the prevailing regional context and participants sounded unanimous that further cementing of Pak-China close cooperation in all spheres means ensuring much required strategic balance in the region. “A stronger Pak-China partnership is a guarantee for regional peace and stability,” noted Kashif Zaheer, coordinator of Pakistan Initiative. He was of the view that while certain internal and external forces were bent upon creating mistrust between China and Pakistan, the resolve of the two people is making them closer with every passing day.
The participants noted that work on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) may formally get kick-started with the visit of Chinese dignitary. It was emphasized that CPEC was not only a project meant for greater economic cooperation between the two countries, but it was a unique opening for regional and inter-regional connectivity. “Mobility and resultantly growth is the region is all set to multiply with the successful realization of CPEC plan,” highlighted a scholar.
It was also discussed that the visit will pave the way for further Chinese investments into Pakistan; and will also encourage investors from other parts of the world. “The very presence in Pakistan of the top most leader of China – the world’s economic powerhouse – is a boost for the host country in terms of investors’ confidence,” remarked one participant.
The roundtable also stressed upon the Pakistani government that ample preparation and homework must be ensured so that the visit turns out to be really meaningful, productive and forward-looking. “Gone are the days of being content with diplomatic niceties and photo-ops,” a young researcher emphasized.
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