China-Pakistan ties pose great hazards to the stability of South Asia. In spite of the recent overtures to the Chinese President during his visit to India complete with ethnic extravaganza, China’s Affaire d’amour with Pakistan remains unparalleled. While Pakistan is in the brink of economic disaster and has lost much vocal ground in its defense of Kashmir, particularly after India changed the status of Kashmir in August, and while the Pakistan premier is being seen to steadily succumb to military whims, China continues to rejuvenate Pakistan in various ways. One of the most disturbing news is that China is helping Pakistan to manufacture defence equipment for export and giving loans to other countries to purchase those equipment. China actually gave credit to Myanmar to purchase fighter jets (JF-17) that Pakistan built with Chinese assistance. Pakistan is already planning to export JF-17s to Malaysia, Nigeria and Azerbaijan.
Dealing with Chinese duplicity is difficult for even the best of foreign experts. Along with the usual diplomatic exchanges, focus should be given to more educational and cultural interactions with both the Pakistani and Chinese populace. The non-political perspective, if allowed to flourish, can actually act as a deterrent to political maneuverings and mischief and thus supplement our diplomatic gestures. A stable South Asia is the need of the hour.
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