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A Friendship No Longer "Higher Than Himalayas And Deeper Than Seas"

One thing Pakistani governments constantly boast about are China-Pakistan relations. A favorite sentence, “higher than Himalayas and deeper than sea” is quite often repeated in Pakistan to describe the friendship between two neighboring countries.


Is China-Pakistan relationship really “higher than Himalayas and deeper than sea?” It may have been in the past, but this proverbial relationship is not as “higher” or “deeper” any longer.  


Pakistan, as usual, wants to keep its head buried in the sand. Pakistani leadership always lives in fools’ paradise and doesn’t want to get out of it until someone really bangs on its head.


The fact of the matter is Pakistan’s all policies including friendship with China have collapsed and now the state of Pakistan is just chasing the wind to find some point to hang over it as long as it can.


General Musharraf’s illegitimate rule is the last straw on the back of Pakistan’s camel. With all policies miserably failed, it is ready to crumble under its own burden.


Let me explain how and why?


Pakistan always formulated its internal and external policies around three axes: US, China and India. India was always treated as an enemy, whereas United States and China were treated as friendly states. Pakistan’s friendship with United States and China also had an Indian angle.  United States and China were Pakistan’s friends, because both United States and China didn’t have amicable relations with India. Therefore, United States and China treated Pakistan as a friend vis-ŕ-vis India.  


With the fall of Soviet Union world started to move in a different direction. 9/11 further pushed the world in a direction where United States and China had to have better relationship with India. Although both United States and China assured Pakistan that they were not developing relations with India on the cost of Pakistan; but fast growing ties between United States and India and China and India automatically marginalized Pakistan; Pakistan became an unwanted child in newly married US-India and China-India couples.


In this changed scenario, Pakistan is a lost child. Not knowing which direction to take, it is just aimlessly wandering in international arena. It is trying to be friend with India, China and United States, but nobody really wants it around. All three countries treat it like an unwanted child.


We all know where India and Pakistan’s peace process stands; we also know where US and Pakistan’s relationship stands. Let us try to uncover the myth of China-Pakistan friendship.


6 years ago, before general Musharraf appeared on Pakistan’s national scene, Pakistan and China’s friendship was higher than Himalayas and deeper than sea. The volume of trade between China and Pakistan was 5 times higher than volume of trade between China and India. Within Musharraf’s 6 years, this graph has totally reversed. Now, the volume of trade between China and India is 5 times higher than volume of trade between China and Pakistan.


Early last year, United States, China and India had tripartite conference in Beijing. Three countries talked about the strategic relationship among themselves whereas Pakistan was no where to be seen.


Within last 12 months 6 Chinese workers have been gunned down in Pakistan. Both times, aggrieved Chinese requested general Musharraf’s government to arrest the murderers, but government failed to arrest the murderers or protect Chinese workers from further killings.


The fact of the matter is economic, political and strategic interests have drifted China and Pakistan further away from each other.


Growing economic, political and strategic ties between China, India and United States not only indicate Pakistan’s deteriorated significance in Chinese scheme of things it also shows how gradually Pakistan is becoming an undesirable friend.


China-Pakistan relations story is story of two friendly countries that considered their friendship “Higher than Himalayas and deeper than seas”, but which is not so higher or deeper any longer. And it has all happened on general Musharraf’s watch.




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