Tete-a-tete with Yao Jing, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan

By Zaki Aijaz Qureshi, Ayoub Khawar, Rabia Zaki

Question: Could you throw some light over your journey through life?

Ambassador: I was born in the Eastern Province of China, Zhejiang, 70% of which is mountainous. The plain and irrigated areas are located within these mountains, while the area I belong to resembles the Pakistani city of Abbotabad. At the time of my birth, very little industry existed in the area. I got my early education from the local schools and later shifted to Beijing for higher education. Major subject was English because I wanted to join the Public Service. Subsequently, I managed to join the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1991.

To my good luck, my first assignment was to work on the Pakistan Desk. Resultantly, I am a witness to the occasional oscillations in Pak China relations over the last 28 years. The truth is, I am entranced by the love of Pakistan since 1991. Anyway, till 1994, I performed my duties in the Foreign Affairs Department, after which I was sent to Pakistan as a Junior Diplomat. This tenure lasted five years and this was the first country where I spent time away from my own and managed to gain firsthand knowledge of life abroad.

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On my return to China in 1995, I was appointed as the Director of Pakistan Desk and thus, my close affiliation continued with your country even after returning home. I remained on this desk for the next five years after which I was deputed as a member of the Chinese mission to UN. Over the next two years, I resided in New York but again returned to Pakistan in 2007 as the Deputy Chief in my Embassy here. Three years on, I returned to China, but this time, I got somewhat alienated from Pakistan since I was given the Latin American Desk. And later, I was posted to the General Office of my Department, where I spent the next three years.

I first stepped on Indian soil in 2013 once I was deputed as the Deputy Chief in the Chinese Embassy at New Delhi. Two years later, I was promoted and sent as the Chinese Ambassador to Afghanistan in 2015. And finally, in 2017, I had the honor of being sent to Pakistan in my existing capacity. As you can see, most of my previous professional life has been spent in close association with your country. I have been in and out of Pakistan regularly, and during this period, Pak China relations have been the focus of my attention.

Question: China is the largest country in Asia. In this capacity, please comment on China’s endeavors towards the development of commercial and social ties with South Asian Countries. How has Pakistan benefited from China’s efforts in this regard?

Ambassador: The Chinese Government has definitely always given great importance towards improvement of relations with its neighboring countries and has actively contributed to this end. You would be familiar that China has progressed tremendously during the last forty years and has carried out numerous reforms in all spheres. During this period, the Chinese Government has laid particular emphasis on eradicating its basic weaknesses including poverty, over population and illiteracy. We believe that true economic development is only possible once you uplift your neighboring countries with you on the path to progress. Consequently, it has been China’s firm resolve to establish friendly and brotherly relations with its neighbors. Being in conflict with neighboring countries will never allow China to fully concentrate its energies towards uplifting China economically.

China’s foremost policy has always been to develop cordial relations with its neighbors. In fact, we have divided neighboring countries into four zones. The First Zone includes Japan, North Korea and South Korea. The Second Zone comprises of South East Asia. The Third Zone consists of South Asian Countries like India and Pakistan while Central Asia forms part of the Fourth Zone.

China has strong trade ties with South East Asia since these countries are culturally and traditionally close to China. China is also closely related to the ASEAN countries both culturally and historically. With these nations, we are not only forging strong ties at the government level but also at the community level. The basic purpose is to foster greater bondage and lasting relationship amongst the general public as well.

Now let us take a look at the SAARC nations. All the countries included in SAARC are diverse and separate entities culturally, ethically, politically and religiously. Their total population is more than that of China. The important thing is that these countries are facing the same problems and challenges as China. This commonality has bought these countries closer to each other. China feels that these countries can solve most of their problems through economic development.

The Central Asian States are on the path to economic revival. On the one hand, these countries are sparsely populated but on the other, they have been blessed with the wealth of natural resources. Incidentally, in order to keep the wheel of progress rolling, China requires access to the oil and gas resources prevalent in these countries hence it is our desire to maintain cordial relations with these states.

From what I have said so far, it is evident that the countries bordering China have nothing much in common and each is being confronted with its peculiar and individual challenges. However, in spite of these manifold diversities surrounding China, the government has stuck to a single point agenda i.e. go all out to maintain friendly relations with each one of them. And above all, it is pertinent to note that Pakistan figures out prominently in the Chinese foreign policy.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of People`s Republic of China. We are deeply engrossed in trying to determine the successes that China has achieved during this period, the causes of our failure in certain areas and the lessons and experiences gained by us during these 70 long years. We are also trying to assess the performance of Chinese Government both in internal and external affairs during this period. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it occupies a historical and very prominent slot in our foreign policy. Initially, our relations were rather inconsequential, but they gradually evolved into highly resolute and lasting friendship.

In 1955, Pakistan became a member of CENTO (The Central Treaty Organization). This five-country partnership came into existence through the efforts of USA and was basically meant to curb the spread of communism and the communist bloc. However, sometimes later, all developing countries including China and Pakistan initiated efforts to exercise a greater degree of freedom with regard to foreign policy. It was then that the notion began to take root that a uni-polar world under the individual hegemony of USA was not acceptable. Therefore, developing countries need to create their own unity. In pursuance of this thought, the Bandung conference was convened in Indonesia in 1955 in which developing countries laid the foundation of their own International Community Bloc. Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and the then Pakistani Premier Muhammad Ali Bogra played a pivotal role in convening this conference. This international community also included African and Latin American Countries. The main purpose of this conference was twofold. Firstly, it was meant to generate social, economic, political and cultural cooperation amongst developing countries. And secondly, it was an alliance to curb the hegemony of negative forces. The Non-Aligned Movement was an outcome of this very conference.

At that time, Pakistan was a leading and an active country in Asia. Pakistan was being governed by a capable and vibrant leadership. The leaders were not corrupt. The state economy was both progressive and reasonably stable. Like Pakistan, China had also recently gained independence, but at that time, China was rather aloof from most countries. By virtue of being a neighbor, the Chinese leadership naturally followed Pakistan’s footsteps in many regional and international affairs. Resultantly, during the next two decades i.e. 60s and 70s, the mutual relations between China and Pakistan blossomed. A glance on the history of these exemplary relations will reveal that it provides very valuable lessons and experiences to both the countries. During the first decade, we landed into a small dispute over the determination of our international borders but soon after, in 1963, we managed to resolve our differences in a very amicable manner. A treaty was mutually drawn up and since then, the borders between Pakistan and China have been highly peaceful.

Pakistan and China have a completely diverse political and social system. A large majority of the population of both countries follows different religions. Yet none of these factors have ever posed a threat to the friendly relations between us. Instead, the mutual relation of trust and friendship kept growing stronger with each passing day. Both Pakistan and China have differences with their neighbors. However, both the countries have pursued a policy of peace and tranquility. It has also been an endeavor to abstain from war as well as to avoid indulging in arms race.

Question: Both Pakistan and China have such neighbors with whom we jointly have long outstanding issues. How do you view this phenomenon?

Ambassador: You are right. This is indeed a strange phenomenon. But our contentions regarding our enemies and adversaries are slightly different. Since 1979, it has been the hallmark of our independent foreign policy that neighboring countries are partners and they should not be treated as opponents. But some disputes do exist. For instance, both China and Pakistan have territorial disputes with India but these are a product of history and cannot be resolved overnight. It is also true that differences exist between China and its neighboring countries. This is true in the case of Japan, South Korea and ASEAN Countries but as I said earlier, China’s top priority is to maintain friendly relations with its neighbors. Consequently, it is our utmost endeavor that no dispute should be allowed to get out of control. However, if China’s sovereignty or independence is challenged, we will retaliate forcefully. That explains why we have fought wars in the past. But they are now a part of history. Once the reformation process was initiated in 1979, our priorities shifted towards economic development. To achieve this it was imperative that we maintain cordial relations with our neighboring countries. This explains the fact that apart from minor skirmishes, China has not engaged in a full blown war with anyone.

The basic reason for our success in this regard was that we succeeded in extinguishing the flames of war through diplomacy and mutual dialogue. Howsoever big or small the disputes may be, they can be resolved in a peaceful manner through dialogue and negotiations. We now give maximum preference to this school of thought and you can rightly consider it to be the hallmark of our foreign policy.

Question: Please apprise us as to what is the status of Kashmir issue in your view point?

Ambassador: Kashmir is undoubtedly a major issue. We are all conversant with the history of this dispute. Actually, this issue existed even before the partition of India. Unfortunately, it has not been resolved to date. Resolutions of the United Nation Security Council exist on this issue and consultations have also taken place between India and Pakistan. However, China’s stance on the Kashmir dispute is that both India and Pakistan should seek an amicable and peaceful solution of this problem through mutual dialogue. On the other hand, it is the basic right of Kashmiri people to progress, be affluent to lead a good life and secure a bright future for themselves. To this end, China has initiated certain projects in Azad Kashmir under the CPEC program in order to alleviate the plight of the Kashmiri people and provide redress for their grievances and hardships. India has objected that these projects have been initiated in the disputed territory but we have clearly indicated to the Indian government that we do not harbor any political designs. We only desire to bring about economic development in this area in order to raise the Kashmiri people’s standard of living since access to basic amenities is the right of every individual.

The Government of Pakistan has very wisely adopted the stance that this dispute should be resolved through mutual dialogue. China feels that this is the correct approach. Like many other disputes, this too has a complicated past but it is hoped that in the near future, Pakistan and India will be able to resolve this issue in an amicable manner.

Question: How long do you think this dispute will take in getting resolved?

Ambassador:The decision on this aspect rests on the stake holders. However, signs exist that this dispute will finally be resolved. For instance, in his first speech, Prime Minister Imran Khan offered India that he is prepared to take two steps in response to India’s one step. He even offered to hold talks on this issue. In spite of the recent clash between India and Pakistan, he again extended a hand of friendship towards India, signaling that he is determined to solve the Kashmir issue. Seeing his resolute stance in this matter, it can be hoped that the issue will be resolved soon.

Question:The Pew Research Centre is an American Fact Tank. A few years ago, it was disclosed in one of its reports that in the entire world, the Pakistani nation has the greatest regard and praise for China. What is the opinion of common masses of China regarding Pakistan?

Ambassador: In China, the common man also is a fan of Pakistan. Since the last 28 years, I have been especially very close to Pakistanis. When I arrived in Pakistan in 1994, I frequently got to listen to this dictum, “Friendship of both the countries is higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans.” The former President of Pakistan, Mr. Rafiq Tarrar added another phrase, “sweeter than honey.” And once the Chinese President visited Pakistan in 2015,yet, another simile was added, “stronger than steel.” Thus the people of both countries invented various slogans defining their unfaltering friendship. The comradeship, mutual relation and strong bond grew gradually and our nation is equally bound to this strong bond between the two countries.

I have been residing in Pakistan for a long time. Hence I am familiar that the common man in this country views China with regard and respect. Similarly, the Chinese people also love Pakistanis and have a strong liking for them. You may be aware that amongst all the foreign male and female students studying in China, the majority comes from Pakistan. Their total strength is around 27000 and they are spread all over China.

Question: Does the Chinese Government have any plans to establish universities in Pakistan to impart education regarding new technologies?

Ambassador: Definitely, yes. We are pondering on these aspects. If such universities are established, Chinese language would probably form part of the curriculum. At present, the students who go to China have to first learn the Chinese language. The issue with our language is that each particular area uses its own individual lingual characters. That is why the curriculum of regional universities is somewhat different. However, the Chinese Government is making efforts to bring about cohesion in the syllabi. Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting China in April. It is possible that during this visit some agreements may be reached in regard to interaction between Pakistani and Chinese universities. Chinese students are also studying in Pakistani universities and such an arrangement will benefit students from both the countries. As of today, 3000 Chinese students are studying in NUML, International Islamic University and other institutions. It is important that the bachelor’s and master`s degrees that they earn be recognized in China as well.

We are also considering the project of Chinese and Pakistani universities should jointly educate students. In this regard, negotiations are in progress with the University of Haripur. We are endeavoring towards imparting the latest education in the field of agriculture, industry, trade and similar disciplines. Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman is preparing a feasibility report in this regard. Negotiations are also in progress with an Austrian university imparting western type education.

The Chinese government is making efforts to introduce the Chinese language and history as a separate discipline in all the major universities of its neighboring countries. The purpose is to strengthen the bond of interaction and relations with our neighbors. It is an admitted fact that the standard of American and British universities is much higher as far as modern education is concerned. However, we are gradually striving to attain this standard and it should not be long before we succeed in this effort. The progress of social sciences is rather slow in China but the disciplines of Science, Technology and Engineering are progressing at a fast pace and it is our desire to raise their level to international standards.

Question: We assume that the Pakistani Prime Minister is visiting China in April regarding “One Belt One Road Initiative”?

Ambassador: It is true. He will participate in the second forum of the “One Belt One Road Initiative”. The CPEC project is an important part of this grand project. That is why, Pakistan is a prominent partner of China and we have many expectations attached with this friend. The “One Belt One Road Initiative” was initiated six years ago and we now want to take stock of this project afresh. We would like to assess our experiences. Where did we go wrong and how far have we succeeded. In the second forum, China would like to adopt the slogan that “Along with CPEC, all projects of “One Belt One Road Initiative” should be of the highest quality”.

There are five basic elements of this new school of thought. Firstly, we need to establish a coherent policy with all our partners. The epitome of these policies is that they should give birth to financial and social progress of the region. Secondly, the infrastructure of all the affected countries should be mutually interlinked. Similarly, Western China should establish links with South Asia, Central Asia, Europe and Africa. That is why we are spending a huge sum on development of infrastructure under the “One Belt One Road Initiative”. Thirdly, we desire to establish close interaction with our partners in financial matters. Due to the tremendous progress by China during the last forty years, we have amassed enough capital to fund these projects. The purpose is that all these projects should be successfully completed. The fourth aspect of the “One Belt One Road Initiative” is that trade of all countries should be unified. For the last 40 years, China has been preparing multifarious items and a lot of raw material is imported from abroad. Similarly, the volume of our exports is also huge. China is a vast market and through mutual cooperation and trade, other countries will be greatly benefitted both economically and in trade.

At this stage, the mention of cultural and social interaction reminded the interview panel that in 1975, the famous Pakistani Film, “Mera Naam Hay Mohabbat” (My name is Love) was dubbed in the Chinese language and screened in China. Once this was mentioned, it was revealed that the Ambassador saw this movie as a young boy as the movie became quite popular in China. In 1980, the famous Drama serial “Waris” was also telecasted in China. But that was as far as the cultural exchange was concerned. Our next question, therefore, was to draw the attention of the Ambassador towards this aspect.

Question: We feel that the governments of both the countries should ensure the exchange of films, dramas and classical books so that the cultural and social interaction can increase between the two nations.

Ambassador: I agree with your contentions. I just mentioned our efforts to achieve the highest standard of development which include social and cultural interaction. I know that in the past a lot of Pakistanis films were produced but after 1980 Pakistani films stopped being screened in China. However, Lollywood has taken a new lease on life and a new Pakistani film “Parwaz Hay Janun” was produced last year. A few companies in China want to dub this film in Chinese for screening in their country. Negotiations are underway in this regard.

Besides this, Pakistan and China are experimenting with the joint production of two movies. One of them is being directed by Amar Jalil. The shooting of this film is being carried out in China. The second film has been written by a Chinese writer. Pak China friendship is the central theme of this movie. It is a small effort so that more movies and dramas be jointly produced. We also desire that the classic books of China and Pakistan should be translated into Urdu and Chinese respectively. This will allow a greater familiarity amongst the people regarding each other’s literary treasures. In fact, a few books can even be printed before the year ends. About 30 to 40 years ago, the Chinese Embassy had translated literary and historical books into Urdu but since the same are no longer available, we are arranging for their publication afresh. An Additional Secretary of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has translated the famous Chinese classic, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” from English to Urdu. This is also being published. It is also on our agenda to prepare books based on Chinese history for children as well as adults.

Through these means it is hoped that in the future, CPEC projects will also significantly reflect the social and cultural colors.

Question: It is being mentioned that the private sector of both the countries is hesitant in investing in the CPEC projects in Pakistan. Has the Chinese Government initiated any measures to attract the investors towards this end?

Ambassador: The CPEC project was initiated in Pakistan in 2015. It comprises of 22 sub projects, most of which are related to the public sector or the government sector infrastructure. For example, Motorways, roads, power stations etc. Once the new government took over, the CPEC projects were re-assessed. We were also keen to learn about the vision of new government in this regard. Once Imran Khan visited China in 2018, he held extensive discussions with Chinese leaders on CPEC. As a result, a new phase of CPEC started and certain amendments were made. However, work on the 22 projects which was underway would be completed. The reason is that most of the projects are nearing completion and most of them are of national importance like Power Stations and Gwadar Port.

The change which has occurred is that we are now interested in Joint Ventures with the private sector as well. Consequently, we are in need of cooperation from Pakistani industrialists, investors and businessmen. There are many dimensions of cooperation with private sector. For instance, the establishment of “Special Economic Zones” in both countries managed jointly. As a result of this partnership, Chinese investors will establish new factories and start new businesses in Pakistan. Similarly, Pakistani investors will be free to initiate their own projects in China.

The new Pakistani government has laid stress on the welfare of the general public. Therefore, we require cooperation of the private sector towards uplift of the social sector. To this end, we have selected six sub sectors which will include, education, health, poverty reduction, agriculture, provision of clean water and human resource development. However, these sub sectors cannot progress through the private sector only and would require in-put from government investment as well. That is why the Chinese government has decided to provide one billion dollars in aid for these six sectors. This amount will be expanded over the next three years.

For the uplifting of the social sector, China will apprise Pakistan regarding its experiences. For example, the governments of both the countries desire to alleviate poverty, illiteracy and disease from their respective countries. We will assist each other in achieving this noble cause. For instance, we will go to the Pakistani rural areas and try to help the people living there in every possible manner so that they can progress and prosper. Prime Minister Imran Khan is interested in developing agriculture; hence, with the assistance of the government agencies, we will establish agricultural centers in these areas. Through these centers, machinery, technology and resources will be provided to the farmers.

In short, Pakistan and China are now concentrating on the private sector including the industrial and social sectors. Besides this, it is also our desire to concentrate on areas where the pace of progress is slow. Such areas include Baluchistan, Gilgit Baltistan and South Punjab. We will not initiate mega projects in these areas, rather, we will put measures in place which should remove social and financial deprivation and help in proceeding towards progress and prosperity.

In addition to this we are negotiating with Pakistan to include other countries as well in CPEC. For example, UAE, Malaysia and others. The Prime Minister of Malaysia recently visited Pakistan. His delegation included Chinese businessmen as well. For instance, half of the shares of Malaysian car company, “Proton” belong to Chinese businessmen. This company wants to establish a car plant in Karachi. Once they consulted us, we encouraged them to set up this plant in Karachi. Similarly, the government and private sectors of other countries can also invest in CPEC project.

Remember, that before investing money, an investor tries to locate such a country where his investment will fetch greater profit and will be secure as well. Chinese businessmen invest in Japan, South East Asia, Central Asia and South Asian countries. By investing in Japan, we gain access to the latest science and technology. That is why the Chinese businessmen invest heavily in Japan. The Pakistani nation should question its government regarding the attractive options that have been put in place to attract foreign investment. Obviously, if these options succeed in attracting the foreign investors, they will invest in both the public and private sectors.

Investment also resembles the act of purchasing something from the market. For example, you want to purchase an Encyclopedia, you will go to the market and search for an edition which will provide you with the latest information. Its binding should also be of high standard. You will, therefore, select the best book available in the market. In China, we provide ample incentives and attractions to the foreign investors. That is why investors from all over the world invest billions of dollars in China each year. For one, we provide them relief in taxes. The sole aim is to increase foreign investment in China.

As I told you earlier, I was born in one of the impoverished areas in China. Forty years ago there were very few textile factories operating in my area. My mother worked in one of them. During this period, Japanese investors came and with government partnership established factories there. Due to this change, a lot of local people lost their jobs and had to face considerable financial hardships. But after a few years, they got a job with much better salaries in the Japanese factories and their financial as well as social status greatly improved. This proves that investment brings prosperity along with it.

The Pakistani government also wants to improve the business environment in the country but I have heard that this is a fake slogan. That is why we have requested the Pakistani government to practically apply their tall claims. We sincerely believe that there is lot of potential in Pakistan for economic growth. It has a huge market of crores of people. The opportunity to rise exists but I just hope some new vibrant leadership will initiate concrete measures to improve the national economy. Just today, I have a meeting with 50 small Chinese businessmen.

Question: Delegations of Chinese businessmen keep coming to Pakistan. But the problem is, that there is no such forum in either China or Pakistan whereby Chinese and Pakistani businessmen can sit together and discuss avenues for new joint projects. Such a forum will facilitate interaction between the Chinese and Pakistani businessmen and generate opportunities for business and investment.

Ambassador: Your suggestion is highly commendable. I feel that the Pakistani business community should play a more active role in establishing a Pak-China business forum. The reason for this is that the Chinese business community is spread all over the world. Consequently, they do not have sufficient time to fully concentrate on Pakistan. Anyway, I am working towards bringing Chinese investors to Pakistan. You might be aware that government of Pakistan has established a CPEC Business Forum. Ten Pakistani businessmen are its members. Pakistani government is trying to add another 10 members in this Forum. These members will be such who harbor ties with the Chinese business community.

It is worth mentioning that there is a difference between the government sector investors and private sector investors. As I mentioned earlier, the private sector investors rely on incentives. If they do not find any avenues of development and growth in a country, they will leave and never return. Therefore, the importance of incentives cannot be over emphasized. We will be taking the 50 businessmen from China to the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce.

Question: The Panel informed the Ambassador that the Roshan Group is benefiting from Chinese latest technology and establishing a Paper Mills in Lahore. The paper produced in this mills would also be exported to China. From this Pak China joint venture, it is evident that in the near future, investors from both Pakistan and China can jointly initiate further projects and thus provide economic benefits to both countries. Can you comment on this aspect please?

Ambassador: In this regard, the new Pakistani government appears to be quite active. The government has organized a 10 member committee which will provide every possible support to Pak China businessmen and industrialists so that they could work on joint ventures. If you initiate any new joint project in future do let us know. We will provide every possible assistance and cooperation.

Question: Pakistan has recently announced that every assistance will be provided to the Chinese regarding visa formalities. However, Pakistanis face considerable hardships in obtaining travel visa to China. In fact, no visa office exists in Lahore yet.

Ambassador: The Chinese government is also relaxing its policy with respect to providing visa to Pakistani citizens. Due to positive measures by Pakistan government, it is expected that a large number of Chinese tourists will visit Pakistan in the near future. We will also provide multiple entries visas to the Pakistani businessmen. The Chinese Chamber of Commerce will be authorized to issue visa to Pakistani investors. Additionally, we are handing over the visa service to the Gerry Company in Lahore. This company also has offices in Islamabad and Karachi. Moreover, it is also opening offices in Quetta and Peshawar. This will further facilitate the issuance of Chinese visa. We are gradually evolving our visa policy towards international standards. At present, no outside guest from any country is granted visa on arrival. The reason is that there are over 200 entry points in China and it is not possible to control each one of them effectively.

Question: Saudi Arabia is establishing an oil refinery in Gwadar. We have heard that this project was to be completed by China.

Ambassador: About 5 or 6 years ago some Chinese companies displayed interest in setting up an oil refinery but they later backed out. They were not provided any incentives for their investment and were compelled to withdraw. But if the Saudi government has found this project to be attractive, it is a great news.

Question: What is the importance of Baluchistan in the CPEC project?

Ambassador: I feel every Pakistani should ask himself this question. As far as we are concerned, CPEC is a project we want to carry out in your country. Baluchistan is a part of Pakistan, therefore, it is the responsibility of Pakistan government to initiate a policy which provides benefits to Baluchistan and other provinces through CPEC. Baluchistan does not hold any importance for China as a province. It is the Pakistani government which should make a policy for the development of this province. However, China will definitely provide the resources. Due to Gwadar Port, we do believe that Baluchistan is an important region.

It must be clearly understood that in order to ensure Gwadar prospers economically and commercially, it is imperative to ensure the development of Baluchistan and a strong infrastructure should be laid out. Gwadar can prove to be an important port for Central Asia, Western Asia and Western China. But this is only possible if lines of communication exist between Baluchistan and Afghanistan, Central Asia and Western China. I believe that Baluchistan government has put in place different projects for the uplift of the province. Instead of relying on China, Pakistan should go ahead with these projects in a practical manner. The Chinese government can only help Baluchistan to a certain extent.

The Honorable Ambassador very rightly remarked that whether it is an individual or a nation, each has to make concerted efforts to change its destiny. Even in the Holy Quran, Allah has ordained that it is only through dedicated will for change that a nation can change its life.

Since His Excellency had to participate in another function, this pleasant and thought provoking discourse finally concluded. On the way back to home, as we headed toward the abode of Data Sahib on the Motorway, our eyes were bathed in the beauty of lush green fields and tall trees dotting the landscape. I realized that nature has blessed our country with unlimited bounties. What remains to be desired is an honest and dedicated leadership that can steer our destiny like that of China. It is very much possible.

In 1975, a wise old man gathered his strength, put together an efficient team, and changed the fortune of China.

Pakistan still awaits the emergence of one such a Deliverer.

Courtesy: Urdu Digest

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