Pakistan's cabinet gives nod for security pact with China

Published: September 4, 2016
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Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Pakistan’s Army Chief Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Pakistan’s Army Chief Raheel Sharif. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cabinet has given the go-ahead for negotiating a long-term defence agreement with China, according to documents available with The Express Tribune. The approval was given in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 15, 2016 at the Governor House in Lahore soon after his return from London.

The cabinet considered the summary to initiate negotiations on a draft agreement between Pakistan and China on a long-term strategic framework agreement for enhancing defence and security cooperation in diversified fields. The cabinet held detailed discussions on the proposed agreement before giving the nod of approval.

Five CPEC projects face the axe

The cabinet was informed that the draft agreement was based on principles of mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, non-integration and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefits, and peaceful coexistence for strategic gains in defence and security, including arms and technology transfers.

The cabinet was informed that input from ministries of foreign affairs, interior and defence production as well as the Joint Staff Headquarters had been obtained and incorporated in the draft agreement which was subsequently vetted by the law and justice division.

In April 2015 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan, the two countries agreed that their relationship had acquired greater strategic significance against the backdrop of complex and changing international and regional situations. They agreed to elevate the Pakistan-China relationship to the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.

K-P police decline to provide security for Chinese engineers working on CPEC

Saturday’s disclosure came less than a week after the United States signed an agreement with Pakistan’s archrival India governing the use of each other’s land, air and naval bases for repair and resupply, a step towardsZ building defence ties as they sought to counter the growing maritime assertiveness of China.

Pakistan called the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement between the US and India as an agreement between the two sovereign states and hoped it would contribute to peace and stability. “Pakistan would like to see that such arrangements do not contribute to polarising the region by disturbing the strategic balance in South Asia and escalating the arms buildup,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told a news briefing on Thursday.

CPEC: Perils ahead for Pakistan

In 2011, the then prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, expressed a desire to sign a defence deal with China during a trip to Beijing. At the time, the Chinese leadership advised Pakistan against such an agreement fearing that it might create a strain in Islamabad’s and Beijing’s relations with both Washington and New Delhi.

However, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry recently informed the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence that Pakistan’s growing strategic partnership with China was one of the main reasons behind the current strain in its ties with the United States. The United States was probably upset with the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, according to him.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (45)

  • NITS
    Sep 4, 2016 - 9:27AM

    China is so benevolent that it accepts the isolated countries like North Korea& Pakistan, in its fold.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Sep 4, 2016 - 10:19AM

    …. await burning Indian trolls.Recommend

  • Reader
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:06AM

    Over burned indian comments in 3 2 1…..Recommend

  • Reader
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:08AM

    waiting for paid indian online cursaders to crap all over the news…praises for LEAMO and crying for china Pakistan partnershipRecommend

  • Zahid Khan
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:09AM

    Is something bothering you and it seems like the news has made you quite upset and resulted in schizophrenia attack. Probably you have not taken your meds today. Chill out and take a deep breath will help with your symptoms. Enjoy life my friend will help you to keep doctors away!Recommend

  • Sabi
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:36AM

    That’s a good step in the right direction hopefully with the agreement signed all kind of non state actors will be eliminated.
    Next tenure of General Raheel must be dedicated to eliminate all kind of anti democratic forces under the banners of tehreeks this and tehreek that.Recommend

  • vinsin
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:37AM

    Let the agreement get approved and signed by China.Recommend

  • Prada
    Sep 4, 2016 - 11:42AM

    With this move, the divorce from US and NATO is complete. It will be interesting to see how Pakistan as a nation fares from here on. I presume the nation’s think-tank would have given it plenty of thought. Recommend

  • observer
    Sep 4, 2016 - 12:22PM

    OK,OK.

    Now let us stop the hyperventilation and look at the facts.

    A. Pakistan would like more from China,but would China like to give more?

    B. G-20 Summit is being hosted by China. India is invited, Where is Paklistan?

    C. Before heading for G-20 Summit in China, Indian PM Modi visited Vietnam and pledged USD 550 Million in defence related supplies to Vietnam.

    I hope the contours of the entire relationship are clear to everyone.Recommend

  • Zee
    Sep 4, 2016 - 1:16PM

    Seeing that india is sitting in the lap of it’s new found daddy US and playing its lackey in the region, this is the right step to take to contain US-india nexus in the region.Recommend

  • Asad
    Sep 4, 2016 - 1:47PM

    Lets not put all eggs in one basket. We should maintain impartiality and stay away from big games as per directives of objective resolution.Recommend

  • nasir ali
    Sep 4, 2016 - 1:56PM

    So both the major powers of sub continent are now formally declared as colonies of the two super powers. Recommend

  • Sabi
    Sep 4, 2016 - 2:11PM

    @observer:
    If you think Pakistan is as big an industrial country as India then definitely it’s a matter of grave concern.Recommend

  • Abhijeet
    Sep 4, 2016 - 2:26PM

    Pakistan trying to punch above its weight Recommend

  • JSM
    Sep 4, 2016 - 2:27PM

    Reactive Pakistan – who is burning?Recommend

  • pakistani bloach
    Sep 4, 2016 - 2:37PM

    Same indians gloating about selling their country to america at a high price are bad mouthing pakistan and china’s security pact. So this pact means china can use all the bases including AJK of pakistan in case of a war with india. modi has put india in danger.this is what super power wants. Do you think america will allow india to rise? America will not let anyone rise apart from westrn countries. In a bigger game things are planned to cut india in to atleast 10 pieces so it wont be able to challenge america in future. India is doomed.Recommend

  • Zee
    Sep 4, 2016 - 2:43PM

    @observer: The contours of strategic relationships in the region are clear to everyone except yourself. G20 is a very specific platform, perhaps you should read its manifesto and charter before commenting here.Recommend

  • Saeed Masood
    Sep 4, 2016 - 3:18PM

    The problem with America is that Pakistan is a Muslim Country with an A-Bomb, While China is coming with a very well set plan,to rule the world, China is a good friend, America is selfish with other priorities. God has made favourable decisions in favour of Pakistan, Long live pakistan China friendshipRecommend

  • M. Emad
    Sep 4, 2016 - 4:17PM

    Pakistan aleady has some ‘unofficial defence and security cooperation’ with China. Can China allow Pakistan to use Chinese bases ?Recommend

  • TM
    Sep 4, 2016 - 4:18PM

    There are no details of the agreement in the article. What are the agreements reached and how it will safe guard the interests of Pakistan? No details are there. Is it real or just a news item as a counter to India US logistics agreement?
    Unless there are details, there is no point to talk about.Recommend

  • wb
    Sep 4, 2016 - 5:24PM

    @Zahid Khan:
    @Reader:
    @Saleem:

    Right. We’re butt-hurt, we’re burning etc etc.

    But we take solace in news like : http://tribune.com.pk/story/1175572/ceo-club-forum-pakistan-headed-towards-another-imf-bailout/Recommend

  • Khilari
    Sep 4, 2016 - 5:32PM

    What other choices do we have? Good move. Go ahead. Make the most of what is available.Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 4, 2016 - 5:36PM

    !st tell one thing,will China come to Pakistan’s rescue if there is any war with India in future and involve itself directly and mess with India??

    Yes or No??

    If No then i think there is no use of this security pact as Pakistan will have to defend itself but yest China can help in arms cooperation but that involves big money which Pakistan need to give to China as nothing is free in this world and i think Pakistan’s economy doesn’t permit it and even from geographical point of view India has strategic placing in the map which China can’t undo.So what benefit this security pact will bring to Pakistan in any hostility with India??Recommend

  • observer
    Sep 4, 2016 - 5:46PM

    @Zee:

    The contours of strategic relationships in the region are clear to everyone except yourself

    A. I am not aware of China having begged Pakistan for a ‘Security Pact’.

    B. I am not even aware of any assurance on the part of China that such a request will be considered.

    C. All one can see is that Pakistan has decided to beg for one.

    D. If that is a ‘Strategic Relationship’ then perhaps it has a different meaning in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Haramullah
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:02PM

    @wb:
    Very soon Pakistan will plead to BRICS for bail out.Recommend

  • Mayor
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:23PM

    It’s quite funny to read Pakistan comments. It only says their knowledge about their world. While I agree India signing a deal with USA has brought them closer to USA but it is no way a security pact agreement like the ones US has with Japan or Korea. And as I said that deal is signed in return for high defense technologies. There is no free lunch here. I wonder what China is giving Pakistan in return for this. Will they confront US after a drone strike? Will they confront India after we violate and show the fire power at LoC? Guess you know the answer. The answer is China will do nothing like in 1971, 1999 etc.

    China now knows Pakistan has all its eggs in her basket. In future even China gives a cold shoulder Pakistan will have nowhere to turn to and they will have to stick with China. Recommend

  • Salim Khan
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:26PM

    This is exactly what India’s PM Modi wanted. Once it falls into China’s arms as Isolated and weak as Pakistan now, China can easily exploit and keep Pakistan lonely exactly like North Korea. Recommend

  • Vectra
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:28PM

    So here Pakistan has allowed China to use its base but will China allow Pakistan to use its base similar to India-US pact???

    China is concerned about India-US pact is understandable given both India and US individual military strength which is far stronger to pose challenge to any nation in this planet but can any one tell how Pak-China pact would be different from existing relationship/mechanism between Pakistan and China that would concern India???Recommend

  • Tiny
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:32PM

    Most important question. Will America allow India to use its bases in America and against whom as US is far far away from India? Remember America being far away has always been spared active wars. The other areas of the world have seen and been centre of wars. American geography has always saved them but India…? The outlines of security deal between China n pak have not been spelled out so why mention [email protected] Emad: Recommend

  • Komal S
    Sep 4, 2016 - 6:59PM

    Pakistan does not really have much choice but to strengthen its relationship with China. Hopefully Pakistan leverages the Chinese relationship for its economic benefits. Recommend

  • Prada
    Sep 4, 2016 - 7:19PM

    What does Pakistan bring to the table? It will be a liability for China.
    Chinese will not fight Pakistan’s wars. They didn’t interfere in any of the wars with India.Recommend

  • Zen
    Sep 4, 2016 - 7:23PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    China rejected this in 2011. Has it agreed and signed this time?Recommend

  • Really fed up
    Sep 4, 2016 - 7:31PM

    You need not to worry. You people are not totally independent either. America will hand feed you,feeding its ‘mithoo’@wb: Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Sep 4, 2016 - 7:33PM

    Pakistanis are ma king a fool of themselves. Will China want to have a defense pact with Pakistan?

    Personally, I would like for Pakistan to have a defense Pact with China. It will make relationship between India and USA stronger. I only hope China lives up to Pakistan’s expectations.Recommend

  • Asad Khan
    Sep 4, 2016 - 7:34PM

    @NITS:
    My friend why worry of such Chinese behavior of making countries like Pakistan their friend.Chill out and enjoy your life with your delusional thought process. By the way what made you to visit the news media of isolated countries like Pakistan. Oh may be you would need some professional help to comprehend the definition of isolation. Your visit here is proving quite the opposite!Recommend

  • Kulbhushan Yadav
    Sep 4, 2016 - 8:22PM

    @pakistani bloach:
    Your whole argument is based on a war between India and China. Well guess what, it is not happening any sooner. What would be happening though is, India would start using both US and China as a control mechanism on Pakistan. You see, in these tough economic times, China is not going to jeopardize 70-80 billion dollar business with India, given the fact that it is skewed in favor of China. Now if US wanted to break India in 10 pieces, it would have had done when India was not even an emerging power. Do you think US is that stupid who would try to break one of the only sane countries in the region? Any way, you are free to live in your own bubble as much as you wish. Just don’t pin too much hopes on China. I understand it is that last straw that you guys are clutching with all your hopes and energies, but it would be devastatingly heart breaking if China too tilt to India.Recommend

  • Raj
    Sep 4, 2016 - 8:34PM

    After objecting to US-India agreement, Pakistan is doing the same thing with China. But there is a difference, India never complains about Pakistan entering into any agreement with any country but it is pakistan which always complain about whatever india does. India never says, paksitan and china is doing this to contain india or US but Pakistan always says that, US and INdia is trying to contain china thinking that China will get provoked. By even Chinese are not complaining such things as they know that, China is a matured country like US and INdia and so they dont cry foul.Recommend

  • ramdar
    Sep 4, 2016 - 10:09PM

    Pakistan has every right to make a security pact. Hope it is on equal terms between the two & not lead to a North Korea in South Asia.
    India has been cautious to protect its sovereignty, hence it took US a decade to conclude LEMOA with India.
    A security pact with China means being different from most other neighbors of China such as Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea & India.Recommend

  • Mian
    Sep 5, 2016 - 12:02AM

    And what do you think America will allow India to use its bases and for what? America, geographically is placed so far away that it has been spared wars uptil now but does India enjoy that status? The terms of deal between China and pak has not been spelled so we do not know whether it concerns bases or not.@M. Emad: Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Sep 5, 2016 - 12:47AM

    Lets hope this historic all-weather agreement between brotherly chinese and pakistan is all encompassing and enhances the people-to-people and cultural contacts between two higher than mountain friends.
    The world hopes that all the pakistanis will limit their foreign visits for travel, education, health and immigration, both legal and illegal, to the all-weather friend china only!!
    This will be a win win for all! Recommend

  • Lahul
    Sep 5, 2016 - 1:04AM

    What’s your worry man, you enjoy tangri shangri, daru waru, dance party with America. But let me remind you. In Cold War India was with Soviet Union – for what avail? Let’s see what happens this time, meanwhile party sharty..@Vectra: Recommend

  • Naveed
    Sep 5, 2016 - 5:33AM

    Would an IK administration let Pakistan become in roiled in another defence pact,is our experience of pacts with NATO,US,Saudia not bad enough.this is the reason why Army wouldn’t want IK to come into power,with th severe poverty and facing major terrorist threat should we be spending our resources on militaryRecommend

  • Sayan Chakraborty
    Sep 5, 2016 - 8:56AM

    Pakistan is fast accomplishing the task of becoming a chinese colony hahahahahahaRecommend

  • observer
    Sep 5, 2016 - 2:33PM

    Those singing CPEC Jindabad etc.etc. may also like to read the following in this very paper.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/1175987/textile-investment-chinese-lack-interest-joint-ventures-pakistan/

    To quote, ISLAMABAD: On June 20, 2016, the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CASME) officially launched a textile-focused industrial park to be built near Ahmedabad in the Gujarat province of India.Recommend

  • Non-Observer
    Sep 5, 2016 - 2:35PM

    @observer:
    A. CPEC means so much for China that it warned through a think tank linked to its interior ministry that it would intervene to protect CPEC if India tries to sabotage it in Balochistan. Also an oil pipeline is in the works along CPEC through which China will receive 17% of its oil imports, so yes, China would very much like to give more.
    B. Pakistan wasn’t there because it isn’t a member of the G-20, why didn’t you know that?
    C. And that’s precisely what is driving China closer to Pakistan. Your own foolhardy adventurism is turning fears of a Sino-Pak formal alliance into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Now please get a fresh lesson in geopolitics.Recommend

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