Taller than the Himalayas, deeper than the sea, and sweeter than honey. A unique relationship, and all it costs is an occasional few billion ever so often. Returning with $42bn worth of investment from China, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be mighty pleased with himself. Boasting an array of energy projects, including not just coal, hydel and wind powered plants, but also extraction of fuels at sites like Thar, it seems that the PM’s visit was focused mainly on eradicating the electricity shortfall. In the aftermath of the dharna — that Mr Imran Khan insists is still continuing, although attendance indicates otherwise — Mr Sharif has survived, but is considerably weakened. Little matter that Mr Khan’s support has not materialised the way he envisioned, what he has succeeded in doing is raising expectations of the government that has been saved, despite numerous pleas to third umpires to remove them. With no cabinet reshuffle, no acceptance of failure, no gesture of humility, the Prime Minister has decided to take the more difficult route to placate public opinion. He’s going to solve the electricity crisis.

Forget all the unglamorous stuff about silting in dams, and line losses, and overstaffing and corruption and all that. The PM hasn’t said anything about that, but we are assured that we will indeed have more electricity than before.

What was not mentioned as loudly, and with as much fanfare, was the promise extracted from Pakistan by China to eliminate the East Turkistan Islamic Movement that has long wreaked havoc in China’s south-western provinces. Nor did we recall that China a few days earlier, had cautioned Afghanistan’s neighbours against interfering in its affairs.

China has been a steady friend, but is also a clear headed and unemotional business partner. Time and again Chinese help for Pakistan has been offered and gratefully received. And it was because of such faith in the Pak-China relationship that PM Sharif turned East to bolster his government’s fortunes. With the latest investments, China has generously helped demonstrate that Pakistan is a viable business partner. We can only hope the PM knows how to say thank you in Chinese.

Chinese officials were also gracious enough not to make any mention of the embarrassment that are the dharnas, that led to the Chinese President’s visit being cancelled. The visit is being rescheduled, and truly the damage to our reputation after we were unable to host the Chinese President, will only be countered if we make good of the opportunity the next time it is offered.