By Shahid Wafa
We always have such people around us who have a great tendency for surprises. With their flippancy and sweeping statements they usually try to shake long-standing beliefs of society only to either look intellectual or to get attention. These days, pseudo intellectuals are trying hard to make us believe that the notion of Pak-China friendship is just a hoax.
In order to support this theory, they usually state, “In international relations there are no friendships only interests”. “Just like any other nation of the world, Chinese only pursue their interests and they have no interest in Pakistan beyond their own benefits”, argument continues. “It is us emotional Pakistanis who never tire of repeating slogan that Pak-China friendship is deeper than oceans, higher than the Himalayas and sweeter than honey.” In this way, such so called myth busters try to portray that they think what others don’t.
Let me tell you from my firsthand experience that such ideas against Pak-China friendship are absolutely wrong. I was myself a little bit smitten by this propaganda. But then I got an opportunity to visit China to work on a documentary project. I must say that 10 day visit in July this year provided me with solid grounds to believe that Chinese people really value their relations with Pakistanis and they go an extra mile to help when they are dealing with us. And this is true on both government and people to people level.
Let’s start from the visa process. Pakistanis only need to file their visa application, concerned documents and that’s it. No visa fee is demanded from the Chinese embassy. When you land on Chinese soil and this is your first visit, you may feel a little anxiety at the start because of the language barrier. Then you come across immigration staff who though are vibrant and cordial to everybody, welcome you with special greetings only because you are a Pakistani and then your anxiety vanishes away.
It’s a fact that every country keeps its interest first but still some nations develop strong bonds with each other. Chinese and Pakistani are two such nations who really feel for each other. Chinese people prefer to work with Pakistanis when they are given a choice of other nationals. When you go to a shop in any Chinese city and if the shopkeeper mistakes you as an Indian, he doesn’t show any warmth but the moment he comes to know that he is dealing with a Pakistani he visibly opens up and welcomes you.
I was hosted by China Central Television in different cities of China for the documentary project “Eyes on China”. It was a multinational project where different South Asian media teams took part and it is a fact that I was given preference at every stage of the project, not because I was more skillful or talented but only because I was a Pakistani.
Chinese universities offer special scholarships for Pakistani students. They can apply for Masters, Mphil and PhD programs and anyone can verify themselves that Chinese educational institutions have some of the best faculties in the world. Pakistani Engineering students should benefit from these opportunities since after the initiation of work on China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Chinese companies working in Pakistan quickly hire students who have completed their studies from Chinese universities.
We are living in an age of information. But the pace with which fake news and twisted propagandas emerge on the internet every day, soon it might be declared as an age of disinformation. So I would like to conclude by assuring all my countrymen that China is really a friendly nation and we must not give importance to anyone who wants to cast shadows on this special friendship.