Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has done well to give the assurance that foolproof security to Chinese engineers and businessmen will be provided. The Chinese are engaged in a number of projects helping our ailing economy stand on its feet and naturally given the poor law and order atmosphere in which they have to work endangers their lives.

But what puts their lives at greater risk is that the miscreants sometimes intend to target them thinking that the nature of bilateral ties would give the attacks greater media coverage and hype. And last but not least, the aim could also be to hurt the Pak-China ties. Hence, there is hardly any doubt that our Chinese friends working on our soil need to be assured that no harm would come to their lives. It goes to the credit of the Chinese firms and the government that in the wake of some vicious attacks in the past when some of their engineers were killed, they did not call back their staff or did anything impulsive that could have shown their lack of confidence in Pakistani people. But Mian Shahbaz Sharif must also know that the security of the Chinese workers or any other citizen for that matter also depends on how stringently we are able to control the plague of terrorism. Until and unless terrorism is eliminated no one’s life can be considered secure. The people who have elected his party into power now expect his government to wipe the menace off the face of the country once and for all. Meanwhile, in another development an understanding between Pakistan and US has been reached whereby the ground seems to have been paved for energy cooperation; initially the US will make an investment of one billion dollars. A good omen that surely is, for an energy starved country like ours anything that can enable it to fulfil the shortfall, so much the better. Some of the more jingoistic observers might be prone to see the US offer in response to Pakistan’s close links to China now being taken to new heights by Prime Minister Mian Nawaz’s recent visit, though at the end of the day, there is no harm if we are looking for more friends and of course more sources of help which can steer us out of trouble.

But from whichever country be it US or China the businessmen or energy experts are coming, the first and the last thought nagging their minds will be terrorism. That is why we need to cure the ill first and foremost so that anyone coming here to invest or for a cultural visit for that matter does not need guarantees of safety of life.