PESHAWAR – China is to provide all financial and technical support in the construction of a regional railway hub for Pakistan.

The active promotion of construction of the railway project will connect Pakistan with Xinjiang region in China and will enhance the capacity of transportation between the two countries not only by land but also add to a new outbound transportation line for western China, said Director Pakistan Study Centre Sichuan University Chengdu China Dr. Chen Jidong while speaking as a key note speaker at a one-day seminar on prospects of Pak China Relations at University of Peshawar on Friday.

The seminar was arranged by the Department of International Relations (IR), University of Peshawar, in collaboration with Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad.

He said that the project will benefit Pakistan, and will build trade and transport corridors by connecting South Asia, West Asia, Central Asia and Western China owing to the country’s geographical advantages.

Dr. Chen said that Pakistan has a railway network not younger than the year 1861, aging by the day and needs arduous upgrading. The project if pursued will transform Pakistan internal railway system and bring economic revival in the country.

Certain external powers are creating serious law and order situation in the province of Baluchistan, with the evil design to halt the expected development of the area through Gwadar port operations, said the Chinese strategic analyst Prof. Zhon Rong. He added the taking over of operations of Gwadar Port by a Chinese company in the recent past to go with the railway project, can transform Pakistan into economic giant of the 21st Century.

Let him tell the Pakistani people that Gwadar Port is first for the development of Pakistan and then any other country. The American withdrawal by end of 2014 would start the beginning golden period for Baluchistan, he added.

Responding to a question of IR student, he said let us not dispute something for the sack of personal disagreement, let’s do work than making noise, said Prof. Zhon Rong. Gwadar port will always belong to Pakistan. The Pakistani government has handed it over to a Chinese company because the Singapore Company who was in charge of the port operations in 2007 could not deliver the desired results, he added.

Now that Americans are seeing a face-saving exit from Afghanistan, it is believed that unrest in Baluchistan would decrease, and Gwadar operations would eventually succeed.

When a student inquired about the role of China in the post 2014 scenario, Dr. Chen Jidong said that China prefers participation of the Afghan people into the peace process. We have no favors or opinion to offer on talk of the Afghan government with the Afghan Taliban. The Chinese government wants to play a moderate and neutral role in Afghanistan.

The Chairman Department of International Relations said the old slogans of deeper than sea and higher than sky for Pak- China relations must be transformed into something tangible by boosting economic ties. If other regional countries can have alliances and organizations like NATO etc, why can’t we have IPC (India Pakistan China) or APC (Afghanistan Pakistan China) cooperation’s to boost regional peace and economy.

Director General Institute of Policy Studies Khalid Rehman, Secretary General Pak China friendship Syed Ali Nawaz Gillani and good number of students attended the seminar.