At a time when Pakistan has suffered the indignity of violation of its sovereignty at the hands of the superpower and continues to receive open threats of further such violations, China alone has dared to stand by it like a true friend, guaranteeing respect for its sovereignty, integrity and independence. It has vowed to take Pak-China strategic relations to an all-time high. It would do well to recall here that since Operation Geronimo on May 2 particularly, Islamabad is being constantly subjected to various forms of pressure tactics. The Obama Administration, the US lawmakers, think-tanks, media and its allies have all joined hands to orchestrate uncalled-for, harassing criticism against it, accusing it either of deliberately harbouring terrorists or rank incompetence in detecting their hideouts. Projecting Pakistan as aiding those who kill the US troops in Afghanistan, it is being threatened with suspension of aid that, in reality, is more in rhetoric than delivery. The joint statement issued at the conclusion of Prime Minister Gilanis four-day visit to China on Friday underscores the Chinese appreciation of the key role Pakistan has played in curbing the forces of militancy and promoting peace in the region and, at the same time, shows an understanding of the limits and compulsions of our core national interests in fighting the menace. As a right response to the situation, both countries pledged to jointly fight these forces under bilateral and multilateral framework. During the visit, Mr Gilani held meetings with President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, Chairman Jia Qinlin of the National Committee of CPPCC and State Councillor Lie Yandong where the entire gamut of Pak-China relations, regional and international situation came under discussion and important decisions were taken to build on the principles and spirit of the treaty of friendship, cooperation and good neighbourly relations signed by the two countries in 2005. Whether it was economic, military and security fields, significant headway in reaching an understanding was made in the interest of peace, security and stability of the two countries and the region. While noting that bilateral trade and economic cooperation have significantly risen, they committed to develop them further. There was a broad agreement to intensify cooperation in infrastructure development, energy and agriculture on a priority basis. Leaders of the two countries rightly referred to the China-Pakistan Friendship Year, pointing out that it should not be just an occasion to celebrate the 60 years of friendship between the two. Rather, it should serve as an inspiration for advancing practical cooperation and making strategic partnership more extensive and productive. In the light of the gravity of the situation, our leadership must live up to the message from the Chinese to get out of the present mess.