Pakistan is again eager to play ‘instrumental role’ in bringing the US and China closer, says Prime Minister Imran Khan
Pakistan is again eager to play ‘instrumental role’ in bringing the US and China closer, says Prime Minister Imran Khan

Pakistan is again eager to play ‘instrumental role’ in bringing the US and China closer, says Prime Minister Imran Khan

The Prime Minister referred to the historic breakthrough in Sino-US ties in 1971, which was made possible because of the crucial role that Pakistan played.

Pakistan has good relations with both China and the United States and wants to play the same “instrumental role from the 1970s” that had brought Washington and Beijing closer together to avoid “another cold war,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said.

Relations between the United States and China are at a record low. The two countries are engaged in a bitter confrontation on various issues, including trade, Beijing’s aggressive military action in the disputed South China Sea and human rights in Hong Kong, Tibet and the Xinjiang region.

In an interview with China’s state-run news channel CGTN, Khan said the world should not go through a situation where it is divided into two camps as it will not benefit anyone, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported on Tuesday.

Khan, who was recently in Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, answered a question about whether Pakistan could face challenges due to the rising tensions between China and the United States.

“I hope this (the tension between the US and China) does not escalate to another Cold War where we have to choose sides,” he said.

“We have a good relationship with the United States and also an iron-brother relationship with China. We want to play the role of the 1970s, when Pakistan was instrumental in bringing the United States and China together,” Khan said.

The Prime Minister referred to the historic breakthrough in Sino-US ties in 1971, which was made possible because of the crucial role that Pakistan played. “The famous visit of Henry Kissinger (the then US Secretary of State) was organized by Pakistan, so we hope to play the (same) role,” Khan said.

According to a report published last year in the Express Tribune, Kissinger in a webinar entitled ’50 Years of China-US Relations’ recalled how the then Pakistani President, General Yahya Khan, acted as an intermediary between China and the United States and communicated secretly with then-Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai and US President Richard Nixon, leading to his groundbreaking journey in a PIA flight from Islamabad to Beijing on July 9, 1971.

During the CGTN interview, when asked about the impact of Pakistan-China “strategic ties in all kinds of weather” on the region, especially Afghanistan, Prime Minister Khan replied that there was agreement between Islamabad and Beijing on how the two sides could cooperation to bring stability and prosperity.

He said that Pakistan, China and other EU states had agreed that “somehow the Taliban government should suffer and put aside, and that the only thing on its mind should be the 40 million people in Afghanistan – half of them in a very insecure situation, ie food insecurity ”.

Regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which brings a direct investment of over $ 25 billion along with job creation in the last eight years in Pakistan, Khan said the project was important for the economy and development of his nation.

The Chinese investment in electricity and electricity production, he said, came at a very crucial time in Pakistan, where the country was facing economic problems after the war on terror. Moreover, the previous terms of office of the “two very corrupt governments also caused the financial crisis”, Khan added.

“China is entering the most difficult time for us, which is also one of the reasons why there is such a love here for the people of China … CPEC is entering the second phase of investment in industrial zones, information technology and agriculture, ” he said.

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