Exclusive interview with Pakistan Ambassador to China

By Gong Jie
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, January 7, 2010
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GJ: Pakistan was one of the countries that established diplomatic relations with China in the earliest years. The friendship between our two countries has lasted to today and become deeper and deeper. I am so moved by what the Pakistani people have done for the disastrous earthquake areas in Sichuan Province. What do you think is the reason why Sino-Pakistani diplomatic relations can last so long and keep intimate?

MK: First, I would like to compliment the leadership, the leadership of the generation of Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai [both of China] and the Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto [of Pakistan] because they made the right choice. Pakistan and China are neighbors; we are joined by mountains and rivers, and the people like each other, so they built the foundations for a very close friendship. Second, I think that we got the relationship between Pakistan and China all-weather and time-tested. All-weather because there have been so many changes all over the world. You have many changes in China and we have changes in Pakistan, but our friendship has been constant. It has not changed at all, and it is not likely to change. It is time-tested; despite all the changes, we have never backed down, we have kept commitments with each other, and we have a vivid, strong relationship between our two countries. [The main cause for this close relationship] is the maturity [and] wisdom of the leadership. At the same time, the love and affection that you will find in the hearts of the people of the two countries is another cause. These are the driving forces behind the unique friendship that we have.

You mentioned the Sichuan earthquake. And yet, when the earthquake hit the people of China, we were also affected. And even with an immediate response and all the efforts mobilized in China, so many lives couldn't be saved. It is a tragedy that has affected people in Pakistan. Let me tell you that we went through a similar experience in 2005, [when] the northern areas of Pakistan were hit by a massive earthquake. And the Chinese people were there, and they comforted people. The Chinese government and the people who were doing business in China, they were there to provide humanity [sic] relief to the people in Pakistan. We are so grateful to the Chinese people. It's not [the only instance] when Pakistan has met difficulty [that] the Chinese people and the Chinese government have been there, so we all are grateful to them.

GJ: Pakistan is taking a huge international responsibility to fight terrorism, not only for itself, but also for the whole world. We really appreciate your endeavor. What kinds of assistance does Pakistan want from the international community and from China?

MK: For the international community, what we need is understanding and appreciation. We need understanding of the difficult circumstances in which we are fighting this war. We need appreciation for what we are doing is because we are going to pay a heavy price. Hundreds of Pakistani soldiers sacrifice their lives to fight terrorism. Young men have been killed in this war. I think beyond understanding and appreciation, we also request the international community to respect our space as a sovereign space. We know how to fight terrorists. We have the will to do that. We've been doing it for the past decade or so, particularly from 2001. We have some problems in capacity because this is different kind of war. This is not a common war. This is not a kind of medieval war that you have seen in films or on television. Terrorists can be anywhere in the country. To take on such an enemy, we need more capacity – the capacity for electronics, the helicopters and the special machinery. What is most important is the intelligence assistance. With intelligence assistance, you can get a lead, check it out, and you find the target and then take it out. Intelligence assistance can help us avoid civilian casualties. That is what we have done throughout 2009, and it is quite successful in minimizing civilian casualties. And I can tell you that we have been cooperating with China closely. We have solidarity between our two countries. We should eliminate three evil forces: extremism, terrorism and separatism. We have been working toward that by collaborating with each other. Our cooperation in the past several years have been very productive. People do not know about these incidents that have been avoided successfully. I can tell you that China gives us a lot of assistance in enhancing our capacity.

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