Pakistan’s All Weather Ally Demands Action on Terrorism

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Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has traveled to both of Pakistan’s traditional allies – Gulf Arab countries and China – to ask for help in Pakistan’s economic crisis. And the answer from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and China is the same – they want internal political stability, a commitment to financial transparency and fiscal responsibility, as well as a secure environment free of terrorism before they commit their funds.

The biggest obstacle that confronts the Pakistani state in attracting foreign investment remains the same thing that hurts Pakistan’s image globally – the country is still seen as Jihad Central.

During Mr Sharif’s China trip while the overall symbolism was positive yet in subtle and not-so-subtle the Chinese leadership put forth clearly that they expected Pakistan to act against terror groups. President Xi hoped that Pakistan would “effectively guarantee the safety of Chinese personnel”, while Premier Li echoed similar concerns.

As an editorial in Dawn noted “it is clear that China will stand by Pakistan and is committed to deepening ties, but that Pakistan will have to deliver on promises of fool-proof security.”

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Author: Alia Khan