Musharraf To China: Play A More Proactive Role (EXCLUSIVE)April 13, 2009
Pakistan’s Friends roll out the Red Carpet for a Pakistani Nationalist Statesman-Pervez Musharraf
Throughout his trip in China, former President Musharraf was accorded head of state protocol and extensive security. In-between lectures, he was invited to several banquets by various provincial governors and senior Chinese Communist Party officials. He continues to be very popular among the Chinese younger generation.
– Says Obama’s Af-Pak policy is incomplete without resolving Kashmir dispute
– Calls for linking Pakistan with China through fiber optic, rail, oil, gas pipelines; through Karakoram Highway
– Floats the idea of a Iran-Pakistan-China (IPC) pipeline
An AhmedQuraishi.com REPORT
Saturday, 11 April 2009.
For this tour in China, the former President was invited by the government of China, through the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA).
His first lecture was in Beijing to CPIFA, attended by many Chinese Ambassadors, experts on South Asia, and graduate students. The former President’s lecture focused on the deep relationship between Pakistan and China, and an in-depth analysis of regional issues including Afghanistan, India, terrorism and extremism. The former President stressed the need for closer global cooperation to defeat terrorism and extremism, and a more proactive role for China.
His next lecture was in Shanghai, with the prestigious Shanghai Institute for International Studies. The President addressed Chinese experts on South Asia, Asia Pacific, and the United States. This exclusive lecture was to the top intellectuals and think tank strategists from China. The discussion following the lecture focused on Pak-China relationship, terrorism and extremism, and the potential to increase the Sino-Pak economic cooperation. In the question and answer session, the Chinese intellectuals were keen to know the former President’s view on the new American ‘AfPak’ strategy. The President broadly endorsed the strategy, as it is the continuation of the past. However, he said this new strategy remains incomplete without India, and the resolution of the Kashmir dispute. India was excluded by President Obama from this new strategy after heavy lobbying from the Indian-American community.
The former President’s final stop was at Sichuan University in Chengdu where he addressed several hundred students and faculty. His speech was an overview of the historic relationship between Pakistan and China, an overview of the Pakistan-Afghanistan region, and the impact of the global economic crisis on the developing world. After the speech there was an exciting interaction between the students and the former President. To one student’s question on deepening the Pakistan-China relationship, the former President spoke of his vision to expand the Karakorum Highway (KKH) to include rail links, oil and gas pipelines, and a new fiber optic cable link. He suggested that not only should Pakistan do the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline (IPI), but also an ‘IPC’, Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline for gas and oil.
The students were also very interested to learn from the President his insights into developing moral character and leadership skills.
Throughout his trip in China, former President Musharraf was accorded head of state protocol and extensive security. In-between lectures, he was invited to several banquets by various provincial governors and senior Chinese Communist Party officials. At each venue the former President expressed his appreciation for the warm reception, and the sense of admiration shown by all strata of Chinese, whether it was in meetings at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, or in the streets of Shanghai.
The former President has a relatively full schedule of speaking engagements for the rest of the year, most likely taking him to Europe and North America in the coming months.