Opinion Matters By Shama Munshi

Chief of the Army Staff, Syed Asim Munir recent five days visit to China alongwith PM Shehbaz Sharif is a significant milestone aimed at another vibrant chapter of boosting the bilateral defense, economic , social & political relationship between Pakistan and China.

In fact, COAS Asim Munir trip to China with PM Shehbaz Sharif signalling a very loud message conveyed both nationally & internationally towards the revivalism of second phase of CPEC and Pakistan Military establishment affirmation of standing beside the incumbent government on the same page in its efforts towards securing financial investments from Pakistan’s friendly countries.

Chief of the Army Staff Syed Asim Munir decision to accompany PM Shehbaz Sharif during his China visit manifests the fact that Pakistan puts China as a “priority” in its neighbourhood diplomacy and Islamabad/Beijing all weather friendship will continue and in this regard Pakistan not at all going to accept any dictations from USA or western powers. Syed Asim Munir has categorically given a firm message that Pakistan is a sovereign state and it can’t compromise it’s national interests and national security by succumbing before any foreign pressure.

The long-lasting mutual trust and friendship between the two countries is as solid as rocks, are important factors for regional and even global peace, stability and prosperity.

Pakistan foreign policy is independent and Pakistan firmly believe that it’s our in national interests to enhance bilateral trade, strategic partnerships by initiating the second phase of CPEC with China on urgent basis.

A meaningful picture of COAS Asim Munir is getting viral in which he is shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping standing beside PM Shehbaz Sharif is enough to underscore the robust & time tested ties between China and Pakistan which is about to touch “New Heights” as both sides have extended unwavering support for each other’s national interests, security and reaffirmed their firm commitment for the fast track completion of the CPEC.Both military and political leadership of Pakistan has ensured the “security” of Chinese nationals in Pakistan who under vicious & nefarious designs are being targeted by paid touts and hostile agencies so as to halt, all the ongoing projects under CPEC.

Pakistan Army and government has given
an unflinching guarantee for the safety and security of both the Chinese personals and projects at any cost sincerely to address the growing grievances and concerns of Beijing regarding the safety and security of thier nationals. Both sides vowed to protect CPEC from adversaries and detractors who aimed to curtail the accelerating “only” super power status of Beijing in rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.

Syed Asim Munir Chief of the Army Staff visit to China has once again proved that both the countries are all-weather strategic cooperative partners, selfless friends and good neigbours through thick and thin and share weal and woe.

The recent visit of both COAS Asim Munir &Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China would prove to be a milestone in solidifying Pakistan-China relations.

The visit could be termed as “extremely successful and historic, in which
both sides committed to “forging an upgraded version” of the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, or CPEC, by boosting construction, mining and exploration, and industrial cooperation.

This is the first official of visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China alongwith COAS Asim Munir after assuming power this year which will help both government and incumbent military establishment to attract more & more investment under SIFC project
to boost exports and to over come its economic crunches amid security concerns caused by hostile agencies of the neighboring countries.

Pakistan and China had laid the foundation of historic project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2013 and this pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has resulted in significant social and economic development in Pakistan during the last 10 years.
Tremendous achievements have been made particularly in the energy sector, more than 8,000 MW of power projects were constructed while motorway and highways were also built.
Similarly. Foundation of Information highway laid down through fiber optic cable and upgraded Gwadar seaport as well as work also initiated on the construction of special economic zones.

But unfortunately, that pace and momentum could not be maintained between the years 2018 and 2022 due ti political change as EX PM Imran Khan PTI government came into power . The PTI government handed over the secret documents of CPEC with USA. It was a great setback for existing deep rooted friendship between the countries . CPEC in Pakistan was deliberately saboted by Ex Imran Khan Ministers and advisors, Asad Umar, Razaq Dawood and Khalid Mehmood .
Incumbent Military establishment under COAS Asim Munir and present government has resumed work on CPEC projects with new vigor and commitment as we are entering in the phase-2 of the CPEC under which five new corridors have been identified as per consensus reached between the leadership of both the countries.These new corridors include growth corridor, livelihood corridor, innovation corridor, green energy corridor and open and inclusive regional development corridor.In the second phase, the government is focusing to promote industrial cooperation with China through business-to-business linkages.

In this regard, the Pakistan-China Business Conference was organized in coastal city of Shenzhen during first leg of the prime minister’s visit to China which was attended by more than 350 entrepreneurs from both Pakistan and China.Pakistan government will send agriculture scientists to China for training and borrow modern techniques so that Pakistan could enhance agricultural productivity.
China and Pakistan countries would further enhance cooperation in science and technology.

The present military and political setup in Pakistan is trying to modernize the 150-year-old railways system which was damaged during floods in the country and has decided to initiate the ML-1 project.Green energy projects such as hydel power projects in Kohala, Azad Pattan having 2000 MW capacity, will be initiated this year.Huawei, China’s leading high-tech company has made a strategic partnership with Pakistan and it will help to implement digitalization process in the country.

China and Pakistan signed 23 agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, or MOUs, in a myriad of fields including cooperation on agriculture, infrastructure, industrial cooperation, inter-governmental development assistance, market regulation, surveying and mapping, media, and film.
Chinese government and companies are interested in investing in Pakistan because it is old our strategic partner.

Pakistan military under Asim Munir has taken security issues of Chinese brothers very seriously on concrete basis.
China hope that the Pakistani side would continue to make every effort to hunt down any perpetrators and make sure they receive deserved severe punishment.Likewise
the Pakistani side was committed to enhancing security forces deployment to secure our Chinese brothers in Pakistan.

Pakistan has warned that attacks on Chinese executed by militants based in Afghanistan. In the joint statement, both sides called on Afghanistan to “firmly combat terrorism, including not allowing it”.

Pakistan under the fearless and principled military command of COAS Asim Munir has taken a dig that all Anti-state forces, miscreant elements and hostile countries will get “befitting” reply then & there if anyone ever dare to “backstab” the country’s integrity or cause harm to it’s national interests.

Pakistan regional & global role in rapidly changing landscape is enhancing and Syed Asim Munir has vowed to support Palestinian civilians and called for an end to Israeli occupation in thier territories through repressive means of genocide .

Pakistan doesn’t want to be the part of bloc politics between USA and China race of Super Power and expects western powers not to push Islamabad into any unnecessary tug of war.


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