“Coming to Pakistan is not like coming to a foreign country; it is in fact like coming to my brother’s home,” Mr.Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, made these remarks while addressing the joint session of Parliament of Pakistan during his two days official visit to the country.

While describing the nature of the relationship, President Xi said, “Our friendship is often termed ‘higher than the Himalayas, deeper than the ocean and sweeter than honey’ by the Pakistani brothers, while Chinese people refer to Pakistani people as good friends, good partners, and good brothers and we consider Pakistan as our ‘Iron Brother .’

This was his first-ever trip aboard after assuming office as President of China. The presence of the Chinese President in the country uplifts the gloomy mood prevailing due to the troubling state of affairs here and there, but due to the promise of huge investment coupled with peace and prosperity, there is renewed hope, confidence, and optimism in Pakistan.

As many as 51 gigantic agreements were signed between the two countries worth $46 billion, which will boost trade and have a lasting impact overbuilding communications networks. Much focus has been given to energy cooperation.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) project was the highlight of the visit. Considered the most significant agreement of cooperation signed between Pakistan and China, the investment for the project is about three times the total foreign direct investment received by Pakistan in the last decade.

This contribution from China aims to help build a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan, facing several challenges at domestic economic and security fronts for quite along. A great brother’s promise to help the other reflects congeniality and love that is long-lasting, sweeter than honey, and is deeper than the sea. The historic visit further cements the ties to new strategic and economic levels. The renewed commitment to the CPEC project was the highlight of this momentous visit.

The people of Pakistan are willing, and the atmosphere is conducive to making such initiatives materialize in less time. With the new dynamics of Chinese diplomacy “One Belt and One Road initiative,” the CPEC project is located where the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road meet, and Pakistan has its strategic significance in the whole concept.

The idea will link China with Europe through Central and Western Asia, and the road refers to the maritime Silk Road that stretches from southern China to Southeast Asia and goes up to Africa. During this special visit of President Xi to Pakistan, Pakistan and China signed 51 agreements, therefore, diversifying relations and bridging ways for the CPEC project.

Political analysts believe that the project when implemented, “will re-open the economic artery blocked for years,” hence providing a huge benefit to Pakistan and the entire region as a whole. It will open up new dimensions of development and economic involvement of the fellow citizens, which will provide peace and prosperity to every household. 

During the last decade or so, Pakistan and China signed several agreements to build state of an art ports by constructing several road links, highways, and an international airport at Gwadar. This strategic port on the Arabian Sea occupies a vital location between South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

It lies near the Strait of Hormuz, a gateway for about 20 percent of the world’s oil. During the visit of Chinese Primer, Mr. Li Keqiang, several major CPEC project booster agreements were signed.

In contrast, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited China last year and inked additional projects, including laying of fiber optic line between Rawalpindi and Khunjerab at the cost of 440 million dollars‚ construction and establishment of 2000 MW coal power plant‚ and a solar power project in Punjab.

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not a single road or a single project but a complex network of communications and projects. CPEC will enhance the growth of industrial zones supported by energy plants hence connecting Pakistani regions with the Chinese at a much deeper level. The whole of Pakistan, preferably those marginalized regions including Balochistan and 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be its primary beneficiaries, and there will not be any discrimination against any province or region of the country. 

There will be a tremendous benefit for having the CPEC project implemented in its complete form as Pakistan will be able to overcome power crisis, economic uplift, and large numbers of job creations for the fellow citizens to be engaged in the development of the country, facing as significant challenges as that of domestic terrorism and instability for quite long.

Pakistan and China both need each other, and it is now on Pakistan’s shoulders how much the policymakers and shapers embrace this tremendous opportunity with a pragmatic and business-like cost-benefit with creating minor controversy within the domestic front.

The CPEC project is a bold step and financially striking, but still, some challenges are prevailing within several quarters of the country, which needs urgent attention from the government. It will test the incumbent government’s capability and how they will take on board all the stakeholders and provide access to the benefit and fruits to the marginalized regions.

China is willing to work together with Pakistan and is a time-tested friend that has always stood by Pakistan “come rain or shine” to support and contribute to the country’s peace and prosperity for quite along.

It is now our responsibility that how well we will be able to ripe the fruits and transform ourselves as a transit trade hub hence becoming the largest growing economy of the region. 

May this friendship last longer and grow stronger.

 Pakistan-China Friendship Zindabad.