Friday, January 6, 2012

Story of China-Pakistan Friendship

A Persian verse is the true reflection of the China-Pakistan friendship. The translation of the said verse is: "a friend in need is a friend indeed."
Time has always proved that China is the only country in this world, which helped Pakistan in testing times. Although the United States also claims to be our friend but in fact it is a friend about which we can surely say, "the one who has friends like you, does not need heavens to be his enemy."
Foundations of Ties
There is no denial the fact that the credit of strengthening Pakistan's friendship with China goes to late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, whose efforts not only gave it a new direction but eternity. However, not many of us know that the foundations of the China-Pakistan friendship were laid by Pakistan's first Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan and Prof Ahmed Ali was the first person to hoist Pakistani flag in Beijing. Before performing this important duty he migrated from Hong Kong to China and established ties with the then communist leadership in China. Resultantly, not only Chu En-Lai, the right hand of Mao Zedong but the other senior members of the Communist party used to visit Pakistan's embassy but often used to sit and talk for hours in the night at Ali's home.
Late Prof Ahmed Ali does not need an introduction as he was in the vanguard of progressive writers' movement and was considered a famous writer of Urdu and English. He no only translated Chinese poetry prior to the revolution but owing to his emotional attachment, he also paid tribute to China in his poems. Ali's personal relations of Chu En-Lai played an important role in furthering China-Pakistan relations. Ali and his family were popular among Chinese and he used to celebrate his Eid along with Chinese Muslims with zeal and zest. Ali had a great affiliation for Chinese pottery, in addition to Chinese arts and paintings. He visited China for the last time with Pakistan's Prime Minister Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy in 1956, which proved to be of historic importance for strengthening the roots of the friendship between both the countries. While appreciating Chinese, Ali writes: "Chinese are extraordinary self-respecting, practical and nationalist people. They are proud of their ancient history and culture. Affects of their culture could be felt world over. Chinese are proud of having an edge on the other nations of the world and their emperors used to call themselves "Tie'nTzu," i.e., sons of God. Chinese are patient, lively, energetic, and tasteful people. Their cuisine is popular all over the world."
Role in International Relations
Today, China is an excellent power, approved by the entire world, including the United States, the only superpower. Interestingly, the struggle by Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan for a separate homeland for Muslims of the subcontinent under the banner of the Muslim League coincided with the revolutionary changes in China in forties. Ali was in Nankeng at the time of partition of India.
After Pakistan came into being his family migrated and settled in the nascent state. Later on Ali also traveled through sea and joined his family in Pakistan. Soon he was appointed Director Foreign Publicity. His book the Muslim China was published in 1949 by Pakistan Institute of International Affairs Karachi. In the same year Chinese ruler Chiang Kai-Shek fled to Formosa after defeat and People’s Republic of China (PRC) came into being. Prime Minister Khan encouraged Ali's inclusion in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs because of his ability and knowledge about China. He took charge of Far East Desk in the Foreign Office. He introduced Pakistani leadership with the newly born PRC and its role in the international relations.
People-to-People Contacts
There is no doubt that Pakistan and China share relations higher than Himalayas and deeper than oceans. The sincere friendship of both the countries has become a precedent. Anti-Pakistan powers are worried and scared of this exemplary unity and solidarity. They cannot find a way to create rift between them. The clear and courageous support has pulled Pakistan out of isolation after killing of Osama Bin Laden. Therefore, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's recent visit to China is much important. China has warned in clear words that no country has any right to violate Pakistan's sovereignty and integrity and no power in this world should dare look at Pakistan with malicious intent.
The most important quality of China-Pakistan relations is people-to-people contacts and both the countries consider each other as obligatory. China has openly announced that China-Pakistan relations would remain unaffected irrespective of any changes in the world. It is imperative that not only the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan friendship was celebrated with extraordinary zeal but it should be fully reflected through the media. Meanwhile, issuing a commemorative coin will be appreciable. It is must be remembered that Pakistan was the first Islamic country to accept China.

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