Pak-china ties


What’s in a word, they say? The last two days saw social media struggling with a new dilemma: whether Pakistan’s ties with China are a “priority” matter or a “high priority” matter.
In light of a joint statement released to mark the end of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s strategic five-day visit to China, many an analyst has begun to drop bombshell revelations about the downturn in the once celebrated “higher than himalayas, deeper than the seas, stronger than steel and sweeter than honey” brotherhood.
Considering the unprecedented reliance of Pakistan’s economy on China as it believed in the game-changer CPEC to fulfil all its wishes with the charisma of Alladin’s lamp, perhaps, this pessimistic outlook was hiding in the bag for quite some time.
After all, glorified mentions of CPEC II cannot change the fact that nothing substantial has yet been achieved from the first leg of the journey. Add to that the constant friction between what the two sides aspire to target (Pakistani authorities are prioritizing IT and energy investments while the Chinese side is emphasizing agriculture) and one is forced to wonder about the nature of talks held between the highest ranks of governance. But while the constant need for improvement in Pakistan’s own affairs cannot be stressed enough before it ensures the arrival of a much-needed stream of foreign investment, nothing substantial can come out of bickering over semantics.
Three recent high-profile visits to Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China would only prove to be fruitful if the Sharif administration succeeds in proving reliability and a way out of the political abyss. At present, the volatile landscape suggests that no matter what is promised on the international stage, the entire kitchen is on fire inside the house.
Only a credible road map can encourage investors within and outside the country to take a chance on Pakistan. To our great misfortune, these scintillating analyses about who will be next to lose hope in this country’s future may add to the flavour of headlines, but not without causing significant damage.