This is apropos a Business Recorder op-ed “PM’s China visit: main takeaways” carried by the newspaper on Saturday. The writer, Farhat Ali, is spot on or completely accurate in his assessment of prime minister Shehbaz Sharif’s two-day visit of China where he met, among others, President Xi Jinping. His are legitimate doubts or concerns.

Having said that I must say that neither country has come clean on a very important matter: debt rescheduling. It is said that China, as per its policy, does not prefer to make public the details of matters or decisions that it intends to be heard or read only by the senior or relevant officials of the country it is dealing with.

While China or any other country is free to adopt whatever approach that it deems fit in relation to such a situation, the government of Pakistan has a responsibility of informing its people about the outcomes of its slew of requests that it had presented to the Chinese leadership. Given the precarious state of country’s economy, it is increasingly clear that China is our first option; it’s our last option as well.

Hence the need for injecting the required transparency into what actually happened or transpired during prime minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meetings with the Chinese leadership at Beijing.

Abdul Ahad (Karachi)

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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