Since the future of Pakistan and China hinges on the cooperation and understanding of their young generation, therefore, during their meeting Kayani and General Chen agreed that, in future there would be “enhance exchanges of younger soldiers and officers of the two armed forces.”

By Dr Raja Muhammad Khan

In his meeting with Pakistani Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, during his six-day visit, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao reiterated Chinese dedicated and guaranteed support to Pakistan. Premier Wen said during his meeting with General Kayani that, "China will always stand by Pakistan in difficult times. Pakistan will find it to be a reliable partner.” Like his earlier commitment he made during his historic visit of Pakistan in 2010, the Premier assured Pakistan that, for China, the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan is utmost important. Chinese Premier, during his historic visit of Pakistan in 2010 has appreciated the Pakistani role and contributions. In their over 75 minutes meeting, Pakistani Army Chief and Chinese Premier, talked in-depth about all the issues facing the region and particularly focused on the bilateral relationship and prospects of future cooperation between these two traditional friends.

Ever since the establishment of their diplomatic relationship in 1951, China has always supported Pakistani interests and there have been over whelming response from Pakistani side. Regarding the role of Pakistani Armed Forces in this bi-lateral relationship, as per the People’s Daily and PLA Daily, the Chinese Premier Wen said that, “Pakistani armed forces have made important contributions toward maintaining bilateral relations and boosting the Pakistan-China strategic cooperative partnership. He pledged to support stronger military exchanges and cooperation between both countries.” There is no doubt that, as an important and well-organized institute, Pakistani Military has played significant role in the establishment and indeed, towards the continuation of this bi-lateral relationship between Pakistan and China.

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While handling the regional and global issues, Pakistan has always maintained that, it would seek peaceful resolution of all outstanding issues and would like to contribute positively. During his meeting with Premier Wen, Pakistani Army Chief assured its friends that, “Pakistan would never seek confrontation; it would always seek relations on the basis of mutual respect.” Indeed, Pakistan has never followed the path of confrontation and conflict, rather, it always seeks peace, mutuality and harmony at all level viz; bilateral, regional and at global level.

Regarding Afghanistan, Pakistan is wishing a peaceful resolution as per the wishes of Afghan people. Chinese Premier indeed, appreciated “Pakistan’s efforts to create an enabling environment for peace, stability, security and economic development.” General Kayani also made a mention of this Pakistani effort and assured the host that, “Pakistan is pursuing a holistic concept of internal and external security. Pakistan’s objective is to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan. If Afghanistan is peaceful and stable, Pakistan will be the biggest beneficiary.” Pakistan and Afghanistan are two brotherly and neighbourly Muslim countries, who have inalienable past, present and future bondages. General Kayani has great contributions for bringing peace and stability in this war-torn country. It is unfortunate that on behest of its occupants, Karazai Administration has been disregarding these efforts from time to time.

Since this is the third visit of General Kayani to People’s Republic of China, therefore, he found it a great opportunity to meet all the significant civilian and military leaders of this global giant, indeed, a future super power. Besides Premier, Kayani met with  General Liang Guanglie, the China’s Defence Minister and both expressed their satisfaction over the level of defence cooperation between Pakistan and China. Apart from the current level of cooperation, both agreed to explore “new avenues to enhance collaboration in diverse areas.” Pakistani Army Chief also had a meeting with; State Councilor Dai Bingguo; General Chen Bingde, PLA Chief of General Staff, and  Chen Qiufa, Administrator, State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND).

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Since the future of Pakistan and China hinges on the cooperation and understanding of their young generation, therefore, during their meeting Kayani and General Chen agreed that, in future there would be “enhance exchanges of younger soldiers and officers of the two armed forces.”  In the field of military cooperation, General Chen assured General Kayani that, “China would like to strength military ties with Pakistan and take the existing cooperation to a new, higher level.” Indeed, so far, this relationship has “progressed healthily and smoothly.”

In fact, as pointed out by General Kayani the relationship between the youth and the new generation of both countries would make the real difference in this rapidly changing world, where there is fluidity of event and unimaginative development in the field of information technology and flow of information. Since there is a visible convergence of interests between these traditional partners, therefore, apart from the cooperation and exchanges in the field of defence, there is a dire need that our educational institutions, think tanks and cultural centers should also collaborate with their Chinese counter part. Our industrial and business sectors too need to have collaboration with Chinese business forums, so that, they can also be benefitted from their experience. These collaborations with business and commerce would help Pakistan in coming out from the current economic crises, facing the country. This would also give us ways and means to over come the gigantic problem of unemployment.    

Practically, there is no dearth of talent and potential in Pakistani youth. However, there is a definite lack of strategic direction and indeed will to progress and development. This apathy is more pronounced among the affluent class, indeed, those ruling the state, policy formulators, and the ones, who run the institutions and perhaps the bureaucratic hurdles; we have embedded in our system. In the process, at times, we happened to be more selfish and catered for personnel interests, more than the national one or for the future generation of Pakistan.

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While, critically analyzing, General Kayani’s vision of relationship between youth of Pakistan and China is not limited to Military, but equally valid to all institutions of Pakistan. The reality is that, the heads of all other institutions need to follow this vision. This relationship indeed has been necessitated in the backdrop that, Chinese are hard working and keen. As a principle, Chinese people believe that, whatever task they have been assigned, has to be done at all cost within the given timings and given parameters. They do not look and criticize others, but do their jobs. We have a problem in this regard.

Under the prevailing security environment, General Kayani’s visit to China and developing understanding with Chinese civilian and military leadership on the strategic issues, facing Pakistan is of great significance. The visit was aimed at strengthening the strategic ties, existing between these very important countries of Asia. In a situation, once a super power is endeavouring to destabilize Pakistan, both domestically and on external front, this visit and reassurance from China for a guaranteed Chinese support for maintaining the sovereignty of Pakistan is a great success for Pakistan. General Kayani must be appreciated for his strategic vision, dedication towards national interests and indeed, as a farsighted leader, having the capabilities to crush the global conspiracies against Pakistan.