Pakistani major English language newspapers Thursday highly evaluated Premier Wen Jiabao's ongoing visit and the current bilateral ties, saying it opens a new chapter in the traditional and friendly Sino-Pak relations.
In a long editorial titled "A New Chapter in Relations," Pakistan's most widely circulated paper Dawn said even though friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and China in economic and security matters are decades old, the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-Neighborly Relations takes their relationship to a higher stage.
It quoted Premier Wen Jiabao as saying that the treaty signed in Islamabad on Tuesday marks "a new stage in Sino-Pak friendship." Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz struck a similar note when he said the treaty "institutionalizes the broad-based and multi-faceted relationship" between the two countries.
From a modest beginning in 1955, when Mohammed Ali, then Pakistani prime minister, and the late Premier Zhou Enlai developed an understanding, the Sino-Pak relations have come a long way, said the paper.
It stressed that Pakistan and China present a model of meaningful friendship and cooperation to the world. Both have gained immensely from this relationship, and there is no doubt that the future will bring them even closer.
In an editorial titled "From 'Traditional Friend' to Partner," newspaper The News said the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good-Neighborly Relations concluded on Tuesday on the arrival of Premier Wen in Islamabad is sufficient to show how momentous the development is for the two countries: the two sides didn't wait until today to let the ceremony crown the landmark visit on its last day.
Not only do the agreements signed by the two sides deepen the Sino-Pak economic and military cooperation, their numerous other outcomes in the civilian field will range from energy development, agriculture and mineral development to such factors in the social sector as education and housing.
"It's time that the Pakistanis change their basic perception of China to more mature and realistic -- from its being a selfless 'traditional friend' to a useful strategic partner," said the paper.
The Nation, in its editorial, said as expected, the Chinese premier's visit has started off on a very encouraging note. Following Wen and Aziz's meeting on the first day of the three-day official tour, 22 agreements were signed to boost cooperation in defense, political relations, trade and economic areas.
The Islamabad-Beijing relationship is one of mutual dependence, with Pakistan providing real benefits. Their joint ventures in technology, like the just launched JF-17 Thunder aircraft project, are indeed a "giant step forward," said the paper.
President Pervez Musharraf, The Nation stressed, is justified in laying emphasis on taking ties with China to new highs. His assertion is true that this phenomenal friendship will lead to several benefits including acquisition of technology, self-reliance capability and enrichment of growth. Therefore, things are set to go from good to better.
(Xinhua News Agency April 7, 2005)