Jiabao’s visit to India vs Pakistan

CHINESE Premier Wen Jiabao concluded his visit to India and then headed towards China’s all weather friend Pakistan. A brief comparison of the two visits is essential in light of the relationship vis-à-vis India and Pakistan. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, Pakistan’s Prime Minister showed maturity when he welcomed his Chinese counterpart’s visit to India, stating that he looks forward to We Jiabao’s visit to New Delhi, if it concludes in bringing peace to the region. India and China exchanged diplomatic platitudes about their bilateral relations and places in the world but gave no indications that any of the issues that had seriously soured their relations recently would be resolved any time soon. The two sides declared high-figure trade deals, but the severe imbalance in their trade relations in China’s favour remains to be addressed. China only said it was not deliberately seeking a huge trade surplus. India failed to achieve consensus on a range of issues, including the problem of stapled visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir, the widening trade deficit, global terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation and climate change.

There was no joint Press Conference at the end of the visit because; there was too much diversity in the views of both Wen Jiabao and Dr. Manmohan Singh. A joint communiqué issued at the end of talks said “the two sides decided to establish the mechanism of regular exchange of visits between Heads of State/Government,” welcomed the opening of a telephone hotline between the Chinese premier and Indian prime minister, agreed on regular consultations on issues of importance to both sides, endorsed the launching of a mechanism of annual exchange of visits between their foreign ministers, and agreed to initiate a strategic economic dialogue to enhance macro-economic policy coordination and try to bring their annual trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015. India was reported to have expressed displeasure at China virtually questioning Indian sovereignty over Jammu and Kashmir by giving stapled visas to residents of the state seeking to visit that country and China’s accelerated investment in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir that New Delhi sees as a strategic threat. China, while claiming to take the Indian concern seriously only said that “officials of the two sides should have in-depth consultations so that this issue can be resolved satisfactorily,” according to India’s Foreign Secretary Ms Nirupama Rao, as quoted by the IANS report. On the contrary, unlike his Indian counterpart, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani made it a point to be available at the airport after four JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft, jointly produced by China and Pakistan escorted the Chinese Premier’s aircraft when it entered Pakistani airspace.

Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani made sure that his cabinet and the three Services Chiefs were present at the airport to welcome the honoured guest. The number of MoUs signed and the extent and depth of discussions depicts the significance of the Chinese Premier’s visit to Pakistan. Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani took the visit very seriously, besides consulting with his party and cabinet members; he conferred with senior media persons prior to the visit for brain storming. Pak economy can further be boosted if modern Chinese technology for exploiting minerals, the natural resources, agriculture, livestock, communication, IT, water and power and other sector is transferred on priority. The Pakistani and Chinese have signed agreements on banking, transportation, culture, communication, flood relief and scores of other public sector agreements. Pakistan seeks a peaceful resolution of all issues with India, including the longstanding issue of Jammu and Kashmir. The biggest achievement for Pakistan was the declaration by the Chinese Premier while in India that China did not want to see the destruction of Pakistan and China’s refusal to endorse the Indian ambition of becoming a permanent member of UN Security Council. Both are clear cut messages to the US and anyone else, not to mess with Pakistan – Dailymailnews