ISLAMABAD - It was a record-making day. An achievement Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif can boast of for an indefinite time. China leaves behind all allies of Pakistan by planning to invest more than collectively earmarked by US to Islamabad since 2002.

This was the chat in corridors of Parliament House where Chinese President Xi Jinping had shortly addressed lawmakers during a joint sitting of Parliament convened in his honour where he received a standing ovation.

Speaker Ayaz Sadiq told the house that Tuesday was a record-breaking day. The joint session of Pakistan’s parliament was addressed for the first time by Chinese President. The economic team of Premier Sharif termed the Chinese investment as the biggest one in Pakistan’s history.

Beaming a beatific smile, the Premier was all happy. Giving a victorious look in the hall occupied by treasury and opposition benches and the crowded visitors’ galleries, Premier Sharif was observed thumping the desk as a gesture of acknowledgment during the address of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

With their eyes bulging, lawmakers were dressed in shiny attires and had reached Parliament House early in the morning to greet the visiting Excellency expecting hand shake with Chinese President as only selected politicians had got a chance to interact with him during his two-day trip.

His live speech to the house in his native Chinese language was translated into English that was heard by lawmakers through microphones. The speech ranging from Pakistan’s war on terror to development of tribal areas in the country won the hearts and minds of parliamentarians.

“He (President Xi Jinping) impressed FATA lawmakers by mentioning our terror-stricken FATA in his speech and promised to develop tribal areas,” FATA MNA Shahabuddin Khan told his fellow parliamentarians after the joint session of the house was prorogued.

The event on Tuesday was so calm but extraordinary that media persons were confused how to make news out of the positive developments taking place during the two-day visit of President Xi Jinping.

The arch-rival of Premier Sharif, Imran Khan was not attractive for journalists anymore who stood for a long time outside the main entrance of Parliament House waiting for his vehicle. Only few journalists started chat with him who later departed after foreign diplomats appeared on the occasion.

Earlier, when Speaker Ayaz introduced parliamentary leaders of various political parties to President Xi Jinping, the visiting dignitary contrary to the expectations of everybody had a very brief handshake with Chairman PTI Imran Khan.

Some journalists wanted to catch Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan in order to inquire him about his mysterious absence from the PM House and Presidency on the eve of Chinese President visit.

Media persons noted the etched expression on the face of Mr Nisar and his casual dress on the special occasion when all the government ministers wore suited attires while the staff of Parliament House was directed to get into formal dresses.

But the job of local broadcast journalists was performed by Chinese media on Tuesday who extensively engaged Pakistani politicians by recording their reactions on the visit and speech of Chinese President to the joint session and the hopes Islamabad pinned on China.

After all it was a day only to praise China and nothing else, the old ally that has left all other allies far behind when it comes to optimum investment in the cash-strapped Pakistan. It was a day when Pakistani politicians preferred to talk to Chinese journalists than paying heed to US Ambassador Richard G Olson who stood alone waiting for his driver to pick him from the outside gate of Parliament House.

But will Pakistan reciprocate to the friendship? Will Pakistan meet the expectations of China in the course of time? We have proved to be no friend of allies in hard times. This was the expression of some parliamentarians.

“I pray that Pak-China relations do not meet the fate of Pak-Saudi friendship. We are allies of US too but think we are having double standards. Recently, we were showered with billions of dollars by Saudi Arabia but when the kingdom called us in need, we turned our deaf ear,” JUI-F leader MNA Hafiz Hamdullah told this reporter.

Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq, who had a handshake with President Xi Jinping, spoke high of the visiting dignitary terming his visit as a game changer for the region saying Pakistan should stand side by side with its friends in times of turmoil.