On same page for China

Editorial June 23, 2024


The political elite across the board in Pakistan took a leap forward as they rubbed shoulders to stand fast with China’s vision for development. This rare gathering in Islamabad on the third meeting of the Pakistan-China Joint Consultative Mechanism (JCM) — which also had the PTI’s representatives, along with a galaxy of ruling dispensation allies — sent down the message of unanimity for ushering in political stability for the cause of making CPEC a success. Such a demonstration of unity was high in demand, as the Chinese politburo had time and again called for a coordinated political response to push the envelope of progress and prosperity.

The visiting Chinese minister and member of the Communist Party Central Committee, Liu Jianchao, took no qualms in making it categorically clear that “…only when all political parties join hands to ensure political and social stability can there be sustainable development.” That is, however, very unbecoming of China as they usually refrain from commenting on internal affairs, but the pessimism and parochialism that had set in the country owing to pestering political discord had sent wrong signals abroad in terms of securing long-term commitments to international investors and on the health of the economy. It is, thus, a welcome development that the JCM not only saw a commitment from PTI stalwarts for being on the same page on CPEC, but also won valuable nods from JUI-F’s Maulana Fazalur Rehman and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, who is an ardent advocate of reconciliation.

CPEC has come a long way, and has entered the second phase of development by kicking off industrialisation on the premise of foolproof infrastructure and energy projects. It is disheartening to see the $60 billion mega-connectivity project hit the snags of insecurity and revulsion at the hands of non-state actors and creeping political friction. The course correction exhibited at JCM is in need of coming full circle for institutionalised political stability. PTI’s Senator Ali Zafar’s contention that “…cooperation is needed along with the rule of law with effective courts” can set the ball rolling for obliging China’s desire for congeniality.


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