CPEC – a blessing for Pakistan after Jinnah
By News Desk
January 29, 2024 03:37 PM
Sajjad Azhar Pirzada
Pakistan is older than China by 2 years, 1 month and 14 days. Pakistan got its independence under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah on August 14, 1947, and China achieved its goal of independence on October 1, 1949 after a vigorous struggle under the great leadership of Mao Zedong.
Interestingly, the month of the birth and death of the founders of Pakistan and China is the same. Mao and Jinnah were born in December and both died in the month of September but despite such interesting match, they were not equally lucky. Jinnah built a palace of dreams in the shape of Pakistan in which he wanted to bring poor Muslim from India and settle them by providing the opportunities of development that were not available in India, however, he did not get so much time to work for his country as Mao succeeded in this challenge.
Jinnah lived only 1 year and 27 days after the creation of Pakistan. After his death, his palace of dreams was shattered, whereas Mao took 25 years, 11 months and 9 days after the independence to bring China to the position of today’s great China. Jinnah lived 71 years, 8 months and 16 days from December 25, 1876 to September 11, 1948, and Mao was 81 years, 8 months and 14 days old from December 26, 1893 to September 9, 1976. If Jinnah’s age was at least as old as Mao’s, then in 10 years, under Jinnah’s leadership, Pakistan would have definitely reached a remarkable position which it deserved.
In our minds, what is the personal image of Jinnah other than a hardworking and honest leader, working for the welfare of people. Now look at your surrounding and tell that who is laying the net of construction works for the development of Pakistan and its people from Peshawar to Gwadar? It is China that looks in Pakistan as the embodiment of Jinnah.
China came forward like a true friend of Pakistan and through its 15-year CPEC project, it tried to make Pakistan standing on its own feet by filling the space of Jinnah. For the first time in the 68-year old history of Pakistan from 1947 to 2015, 51 MoUs have been signed by Pakistan and China during the President Xi’s watershed visit to Islamabad to meet the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on April 15, 2015. Earlier in 2010, in the government of PPP, China and Pakistan had also signed a $20bln economic deal. At that time, the Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani made agreements with China to further strengthen Pak-China friendship.
Well, it was decided on April 20, 2015 that CPEC projects will be completed in 15 years till 2030 but we have not appreciated them as much as they deserved. As a big brother, it was Pakistan’s duty to show China the way of development, however, the way China, despite being the younger brother, developed wonderfully and showed Pakistan the way of development through CPEC, for which we should be very grateful to China instead of underestimating it.
During Imran Khan’s premiership, the American lobby became so active that work on CPEC was almost stopped. I am witness that Imran’s government decided to close the Sahiwal Coal Project. Murtaza Solangi (the present caretaker federal information minister) and other journalists, including me visited that project and wrote about its importance. At that time, media raised voice in favor of CPEC but the Imran government remained reluctant to take a positive step.
Today, we have only 6 years left to complete the CPEC projects. In the present situation, signs are showing that after the general elections 2024, the sun of Pak-China friendship will shine once again regarding the completion of CPEC.
It is more important to note that American lobby in Pakistan is of the view that China is proving to be the East India Company for Pakistan, however, this is a nonsense propaganda and it must be answered. If we look at the history of the East India Company and the history of China, it would be known that the company destroyed the Mughal Empire in India by destabilizing the people living together over there under the policy of divide and rule. I myself saw the places in India where Britishers tortured and killed a large number of people.
On the other hand, China has started the CPEC projects for the economic stability of Pakistan and provided employment opportunities to the people with dignity. I have been monitoring Pak-China relations for the last 7 years. In 2017, I went Beijing on the invitation of Masood Khalid, Pakistan’s ambassador to China, and I was surprised to see that the American lobby’s propaganda against China in Pakistan is completely wrong. The Chinese are not only a cultured, well-mannered, and communicative nation, rather, they also love and respect the people of Pakistan.
On my return to Pakistan, I visited the Chinese embassy on the invitation of the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jung and deputy ambassador Zhao. When I met them for the first time, I realized that the impression that Chinese diplomats keep distance from Pakistanis is wrong. Chinese people also attend the weddings and feasts of Pakistani friends. In 2018, the Chinese Consul General in Lahore Peng Zhengu attended my wedding ceremony and met people with open heart.
Similarly, from the day of his appointment, Jiang Zaidong, the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan has been taking remarkable steps for the betterment of Pak-China bilateral relations and people-to-people contact. His vision is appreciable, as he says, “The CPEC will bring solid benefits for both the countries. With the completion of energy and infrastructure projects, the economic situation in Pakistan will improve and the electricity supply will be more stable, whereas people will enjoy more convenient transportation and a better livelihood.”
He also says, “Alongside other major projects, we are establishing social welfare institutions, especially in Gwadar, in the form of primary schools, vocational training centers and hospitals.” He further adds, “We will also provide Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with medical, educational and training projects as per the needs of the local people.”
Well, it was almost a year back when Zhao Shirin posted as the Chinese Consul General in Lahore, and when I met him at the Chinese consulate, I found him very cheerful and friendly with Pakistanis, who believes in strong relations between Pakistan and China. In his team, Deputy Consul General Cao Ke, and other officials are also playing the role of a bridge for further improving the Pak-China mutual relations.
Today, the major problem of Pakistan, especially Lahore, is smog. The Punjab Government has invited a Chinese team of experts from Beijing to come Lahore for consultation. For which the Chinese consul general in Lahore is providing a very special support that is a proof of how much Chinese value the people of Pakistan in every difficult time.
On contrary, in American lobby, there is a disgusting sympathy for Pakistanis. The people of Pakistan, especially the residents of Balochistan should understand that China is not our enemy, it is the US which is boasting of being a superpower, continues to conspire only to maintain its hegemony in the region. In short, if there would be no conflict among different countries, then how the United States of America will survive?
The writer is a Lahore-based senior journalist, writer, researcher, and political analyst. He is the Chairman of International Media Forum for Peace and Harmony. He strongly focuses on strengthening mutual relations between Pakistan, China, and India. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.