Continued Cooperation With China

Two significant events happened earlier this week. The first was Khawaja Asif’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi after participating in SCO Council of Foreign Ministers moot. The second was CPEC Summit 2018 where Prime Minister (PM), Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, representatives of all provincial governments and other official reiterated the benefits of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that Pakistan can secure for itself. One thing that is common in both events: Islamabad suggesting its dependency on China for economic and strategic gains from now onwards.

China-led initiative for regional cooperation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a platform for countries in the region to secure win-win relationship. Pakistan as a member of the organisation has a vital role in enhancing not only bilateral ties between Islamabad and Beijing, but Islamabad can also use it as a forum where it can break its international isolation. That Beijing and Islamabad are determined to enhance bilateral cooperation with the pledge to play a critical role for regional stability through SCO can be seen in the Chinese initiative of Pakistan-China-Afghanistan Foreign Ministers Trilateral Mechanism for improving relations with Afghanistan.
On the occasion of CPEC Summit 2018, it was encouraging to see that not only Prime Minister was present at the event, but also representation of all the provinces was ensured. Only such inclusive moves can ward off people’s apprehensions against the project if there are any. While every provincial representative explained to the audience the gains and benefits of the project, it is essential for provincial governments to ensure efficacy and efficiency in completing their parts. Only timely completed projects benefit people. Delays in development projects are good for no one, and it is true for CPEC as well.
It is safe to assume while commenting on the minutes of these two meetings that such gatherings will further enhance the bilateral ties between the two nations. The situation on the ground is a win-win for both partners. One can appreciate the voracity with which the Federation and its federating units are trying to reap the benefits that membership of SCO and CPEC contain. No doubt the two initiatives that Pakistan is part of will not only benefit Pakistan in numerous ways, but other regional powers will also reap the fruits of these two different initiatives. Regional cooperation is a win-win situation for all participants. However, it is also important to bear in mind that over-reliance on China’s support for Pakistan is not suitable for Pakistan if it ever wants to get out of dependency trap.


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