Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pakistan, China Sign Defense Agreement To Enhance Military Cooperation

The first defense agreement between Pakistan and China was signed in the 1950s and the cooperation between the two countries has risen sharply ever since. A new bilateral defense agreement to enhance cooperation has been signed between Pakistan and China recently, which has taken the cooperation between the two countries to new heights.

Chinese President Hu Jintao had rightly said that Pakistan-China friendship is loftier than Himalaya and deeper than seas. Pakistan's former President Muhammad Rafiq Tarar further added, 'and sweater than honey'. In the current tough situation, when the cowboy US government is using a new tactic to put pressure on Pakistan to 'do more,' the visit by an 11-member delegation from China led by Defense Minister General Liang Guangile and signing of the bilateral defense cooperation agreement comes as a relief to Pakistan amid the US growing pressure on Pakistan after Faisal Shehzad's failed attempt to blow up the Times Square.

Under this agreement, the three armed forces of Pakistan and China will hold joint military exercises. Not only will China provide four trainer aircrafts and 60 Million Yuan to Pakistan but it has also agreed to support Pakistan's stance on all the international forums. In addition, China has assured to continue to provide military and economic aid to Pakistan. The Chinese delegation said that not only are Pakistan and China good friends and neighbors but also dependable allies; the relations between the two countries are based on trust. China hailed Pakistan's role, sacrifices and practical efforts in the war against terror.

It must be remembered that a delegation from China had also visited Pakistan at the time when General Deepak Kapoor, Indian chief of Army staff, had threatened that the Indian military is capable of confronting both China and Pakistan at the same time. India tried to curb the significance of this statement, but since he has been made the head of a strategic planning division, it can be said that this statement was issued on the behest of the Indian officials. The purpose of this visit was to convey this message that Pakistan is not alone in the region; China and Pakistan are two hearts, one beat. After this, India and its masters calmed down. US Foreign Minister Hilary Clinton sat down with Shah Mehmud Qureshi for talks.

Cooperation on Military Projects
At present, Pakistan and China are cooperating with each other on various military projects. They are jointly working on a project to manufacture F-17 planes, which are said to be much better than F-16s. However, France has stopped providing some vital components of late. France has always stabbed us in the back and it didn't let go this opportunity as well. Australia also didn't stay behind, but the Australian military delegation is now on a visit to Pakistan. In addition to manufacturing F-17s, Pakistan and China are also working on a F-22-P frigate project and the first frigate, which is called PNS Shamsheer, has been included in the Pakistan Navy. The inclusion has further strengthened Pakistan's naval strength.

Prior to the Chinese delegation's visit, China had announced to provide two atomic plants to Pakistan, which will be installed in Chashma Barrage's second and third section. America didn't like the idea, however, it remained quiet considering its state in Afghanistan. Hilary Clinton didn't raise this issue during her visit to China; however, she wanted China to agree to sanctions against Iran in exchange.

Pakistan's Atomic Program
Atomic experts have objections over the decision to provide atomic plants to Pakistan, calling it a violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (NPT). However, they also say that America too violated the NPT by signing civil atomic agreement with India. This is the reason why China provided atomic plants to Pakistan to make it clear that if the United States can do something, why cannot China?

The history of atomic cooperation between Pakistan and China is very old. According to reports, when the United States had imposed sanctions against Pakistan's atomic program, China provided Pakistan with 50 kilograms of weapon grade uranium and several tonnes of uranium hexafluoried, which is used in centrifuge. It is also claimed that Pakistan conducted its first nuclear test on the Chinese soil and that it was China that provided atomic design to Pakistan. However, in my opinion it is mere propaganda as the design is purely Pakistani and there is a huge difference between the two designs, i.e., Pakistani and Chinese designs.

US Presence and Growing Pressure
The military cooperation between Pakistan and China is expanding and hence America's attempts to contain China are intensifying. America has established five military bases in India, including one is the Ladakh Region of Occupied Kashmir (Indian-administered Kashmir). Likewise, there are seven US bases in the Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan from where all kinds of activities are carried out against China, ranging from spying to terrorism. In addition, the United States is using Japan, Australia, South Korea and Taiwan against China.

Now the only area where the United States doesn't have a base to surround China is Pakistan's Khanjrab Area. The US desires to establish a military base here. However, Pakistan will not allow the United States to do so. Over a year ago, a conference was held in China with regard to this matter. Ahsan-ul-Haque, former head of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), foreign secretary and former joint chief of the Army staff, was also preset on the occasion and the Chinese had openly asked him how sovereign is Pakistan under the US presence and growing pressure in the light of the present apprehensive circumstances.

Pakistan had assured the Chinese officials that Pakistan is sovereign to the extent that it won't become a part of any conspiracy against China. The Chinese accepted this assurance and the relations continued to strengthen. The Chinese Interior Ministry's recent visit to Pakistan confirms this fact.

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