CHINESE Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who recently described Pakistan as ‘irreplaceable friend’ will be arriving in Islamabad on 9th February on a two-dayofficial visit to finalise the details of the upcoming visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping. The twocountries are giving final touches to the agreements to be signed during the crucial visit of the Chinese President.
The visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister takes place at a time when some important developments are taking place in the region. The United States and India signed agreements and discussed issues having bearing on China and Pakistan and therefore, the entire region. Indo-US nexus is assuming threatening posture and both China and Pakistan will have to take stock of the emerging situation so as to safeguard their national interests. Similarly, most of the foreign occupation forces have left Afghanistan and China has offered to host dialogue between Afghan Government and Taliban. Pakistan has important role to play in the resolution of the Afghan conflict and therefore, the Chinese FM would understandably discuss this issue with Pakistani leadership. Above all, the Chinese President could not visit Pakistan last year due to politics of confrontation by some political parties, delaying agreements and projects that were proposed to be discussed and finalized during the visit. No doubt, during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China, Beijing agreed to invest about $45 billion on projects related to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor but still there are many related issues and projects that need to be given final shape for their speedy implementation. As Pakistan has to gain a lot from the visit of the Chinese President, we are confident that every aspect of the visit would be minutely discussed and taken care of not only by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs but other concerned Ministries as well. It would be worthwhile if the Prime Minister convenes preparatory meetings following visit of the Chinese Foreign Minister to ensure concrete progress towards finalization of agreements and projects during visit of the Chinese President. We also expect that the agitating opposition parties would also demonstrate political maturity to let the Government concentrate on the pre-visit homeworkand preparations to make the visit really meaningful in wake of the internal and external challenges confronting Pakistan.