Posted by: Administrator | 14 September, 2006

President at Peking University, Beijing, China

4 November 2003, Beijing, China

Honorable President of the Peking University Distinguished faculty members, Scholars, Ladies and gentlemen,

It is indeed a unique privilege and a great experience for me to be talking to all faculty members and all the scholars of this great university. Its greatness is really manifested in the fact that this university has been our alma mater to acclaimed leadership of China, therefore I would like to start by congratulating all of you and this university for completing one hundred and five years of its history, of its existence. Therefore, my unique privilege as I said and it is a privilege also to be addressing to students who are the future leaders of China. I say future leaders of China because nobody knows what lies in destiny for any body in the future. When I was a student like you, I never knew that I am going to rise and become a President someday. So, therefore, your destiny is in your hands, and I know that I am speaking to the future leaders of China. It is a privilege to be speaking to you, the future generation and future leadership.

I would also like to congratulate the government and the people of China on the manned space flight successfully undertaken by China; I must say that this spectacular achievement has secured for China a leading place among the select few that have mastered space technology. It also demonstrates the determination of Chinese people to reach new heights of progress and technological prowess. We, the people of Pakistan, rejoice in China’s and yours achievement. It is a pleasure for me to be speaking to you in this great institution with traditions rivaled by very few in the   world. Peking University has inspired several generations of China’s leaders and intellectuals who have helped to build your great and splendid society.

Relations between our two people go back to antiquity when the fabled silk route served as a conduit not only for commerce but also for ideas and knowledge. Famous Chinese scholars Xuan

Zhuang and Fa Xien traversed the same route i.e. the silk route to the famous university of its

day located in Taxila, which is just 30 miles north of our capital, Islamabad. This happened

thousands of years back. Their experiences are celebrated in your popular literary work “Journey

to the West” which indeed is journey to the present day Pakistan. So, therefore, relations between

China and Pakistan have a long thousands years of history and Insha’Allah it will proceed on

thousands of years in future also. As I speak, to you I am a bit nostalgic. I want to go down the

memory. Pakistan and China won independence almost at the same time in different eras in the

late 40’s. We started our journey as developing countries faced with external threats and

challenges of internal cohesion. We have come a long way from where we started. In the

process, we built our nations and created a special place in the international community.

When I look back, we feel proud that Pakistan and China struck roots for lasting relationship in

the turbulent decades of 1960’s. By now, four generations of Pakistani and Chinese leaders and

peoples have been friends to each other. We dealt with your great leaders-the first generation of

Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai fallowed by President Deng Xiaoping; then again followed by

President Jiang Zemin and Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and now I have met your forth generation

leaders President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao. This shows how resilient our relationship


We have celebrated half a century of our diplomatic relations last year. This is the greatness of

the bonds between China and Pakistan. We have different systems and cultures, yet we have

weaved together all stands of our relation into a very beautiful mosaic. It is not a mere hyperbole

when we say that the friendly ties between Pakistan and China are a model for other countries to


amulate with diverse systems. They are a model to amulate. This relationship is a reality.

We have been through difficult times but remained together to navigate our common goals. The

bedrock of our bilateral bonds was a strong faith and trust in each other, which we have nurtured

with care and devotion. During the cold war we stood up for the developing world and the poor

people of the world and .fought for their rights. We were always there to help each other in

various international forums. On Kashmir, China has taken a very principled stand. We have

been supportive of China on the issues of Taiwan and human rights. We move in tandem when

we grapple with issues of global peace and security, disarmament, non-proliferation and outer

space. Since January this year, we have been cooperating with each other in the United Nations

Security Council, as the world is seized of the critical issues of peace and security.

Young people like you in Pakistan and China ask if we will be able to carry forward this timetested

friendship to our future generations. My answer to this question is a very emphatic, yes. I

have no doubt in my mind that we will be able to do so. The Communist Party of China held its

historic plenum last year. The new Chinese leadership has said that the Pakistan-China relations

are there to stay and will move from strength to strength in the years and decades to come.

What is the basis of this optimism? Our friendly relations are based in the popular ethos and

political mores of our peoples. The people in Pakistan in the streets and villages of Pakistan

have deep affection for China and its valiant hardworking and friendly people. If any one of you

ever comes to Pakistan and say that you belong to China, I am sure you will all get a very

favored treatment by any one in the street. I see the same sentiment for Pakistanis here in China.

This is anchor for our successive leaders to forge productive relationship between the two

countries; in commerce and industry, in culture and arts, in defense and strategy. Twenty first

century is the century of geo-economics. Cementing of political relations will be through

economic, commercial and trade ties. These need to be relentlessly perused by our two countries.

What also binds us together is our shared idealism for

neighborhood, our region free from strife, conflict and a world embracing peace, harmony and

understanding. We want this vision to be translated into action and reality. The world had tilled

its hope that end of the cold war will usher in an era of peace and harmony, but, very sadly this

was not to be. The world continued on its path of conflict and confrontation unfortunately. But

one very major change occurred after the cold war and that change was that while during the

cold war era, the former geo-strategic focus of the world was westerly; it was Eurocentric, that

the world was concerned in conflict between East and West, conflict between NATO and

WARSA pact, the issues of division of Germany and Berlin wall, it was all Eurocentric and

Westerly concentrated. After the cold war this focus shifted to the East, it shifted to Easterly

direction. In that it came to Middle East and Gulf and then whatever is happening in Afghanistan

and Central Asian Republics; the focus also shifted to India-Pakistan, conflict over Kashmir.

Then if we see this region of India-Pakistan conflict, Central Asian Republics and Gulf and

Middle East, Pakistan happens to be at the centre of the strategic focus of the world. This is the

changed strategic focus as I told you. However, decade of 90’s gave rise to two very dangerous

aspects. One of these was that it gave rise to military extremism and terrorism all around the

world and secondly the special feature of all this extremism was that all political conflicts in the

world, all of them, involved the Muslim world, Islamic countries. Extremism climaxed after the

9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Pakistan joined the coalition forces’ fight against terrorism. This decision was taken as a matter

of principle and in our national interest, because Pakistan itself has been a victim of sectarian and


religious extremism.

As I said, conflicts all around the world involved Muslims. We start it with Bosnia and Kosovo

and then we came to conflict in Afghanistan and now in Iraq. And of course, the continuing

tragedy in Palestine and Kashmir. All these disputes have affected the Muslim world and

therefore, there is a polarization which has set in between Muslim world and the West. This has

given rise to two very serious misperceptions. Number one misperception among the Muslims of

the world is that Islam as a religion is being targeted. Second misperception is in the Western

world. They think or they have started to perceive Islam as a religion of extremism, of militancy,

of intolerance. Both these perceptions are wrong and need to be corrected if we want the world to

be a better place to live in for our future generations.

The world remains a very dangerous place to live in now and future does not potent well also

under the present circumstances. We need to ask ourselves a question, all of us, especially our

generation. Is this the heritage we want to leave for our future generation, for your generation,

the students of this university? Is this the heritage we want to leave for you all? This conflict

prone, dispute oriented world? The answer, obviously, that everyone will give is no. We don’t

want to leave this heritage. And besides, conflicts and tension in one region affect all other

regions of the world. We are not living isolated in our own respective domains. The world is now

a global village driven by technological and information revolution.

safe, secure and prosperousGlobalization has increased interdependence and greater integration of the world society. We all,

therefore, owe to our future generation to improve the world. There must also be no doubt that we all

must act, we must launch a war against extremism and terrorism. Operation against extremists and

terrorists are going on, must continue but let me say that these are only symptoms. If we want to win the

war, if we succeed against these extremists and terrorists that we are talking of, we will win a battle, I

would say tactical battle, because there are the symptoms.

If we want to win the war against extremism and terrorism, we must address the root causes of extremism

and terrorism. Operations against Al-Qaeda and Taliban, Hamas or Hezbollah are all of short-term tactical

value. What is the ‘cause of terrorism, of extremism, of militancy? It is hopelessness, powerlessness,

desperation, injustice and non resolution of long-standing political disputes. That is the cause. Also add to

this is poverty and lack of education. So the combination of unresolved political disputes, poverty, lack of

education make an explosive mix, giving rise to extremism and militancy. I have long been giving an

example of a tree that if you eliminate 500 Al-Qaeda extremists, which Pakistan has done

contributed towards eliminating over 500 of them

stands. More leaves will grow. If you are able to eliminate Al-Qaeda, you would have eliminated one

branch of that tree. Tree will still be there. More branches will grow. So, therefore, if you want to

eliminate the terrorism, you have to go to the root of that tree. Eliminating the root of that tree lies in

resolution of political disputes, in eliminating poverty, in bringing education. That is the root, which will

uproot the whole tree of extremism and militancy. So the question is what must we all do because world

is a common heritage of all humankind, what must we all do to improve the condition in the world? I

have suggested the strategy of Enlightened Moderation. This strategy of ‘Enlightened Moderation’ is a

two pronged strategy and is win for all, for the whole world. One of the prongs of this strategy is to be

delivered by the Muslim world including Pakistan and myself. We must reject extremism, militancy,

intolerance and must encourage the path of• socio-economic emancipation of the Muslims through human

resource development, through emphasis on the social sector, education, poverty elimination, healthcare.

People in the West think that Islam is in conflict with democracy, with secularism and with modernism

but they are absolutely wrong. Islam believes in all these things. In that, as far as democracy is concerned,

Islam believes in freedom of speech and expression. Islam very much believes in human rights. Islam

believes in taking decisions through consensus, through discussion process. This is the essence of

democracy. So therefore, Islam is democratic ‘in principle, in essence. As far as secularism is concerned,

Islam believes in the rights and the security of all minorities. Islam does not differentiate between color,

Pakistan hasyou have plucked the leaves of a tree but the tree5

caste and creed. That is secularism. Therefore, Islam in essence is secular. As far as the modernism is

concerned, we say that Islam is for all times to come because there is broad guidance on societal matters

in our religion Islam, but the implementation is to be decided through consensus, through discussion.

Therefore, when would you review your thoughts through Ijtihad i.e. discussion and consensus. Islam

remains modern for all times to come because you continue to review your thoughts, broad guidance

being there. Therefore, I may say Islam in essence is democratic, secular and also modern. There is a

difference between theory and practice. Unfortunately the

distorted version or vision of our great religion, Islam. Therefore while the Muslims need to

project the true values of Islam, the whole world needs to understand Islam in its correct

perspective and not to see it through the eyes and actions of the extremists.

extremist, a Muslim extremist, shows aLadies and gentlemen,

multilateral cooperation for future peace and development has certain prerequisites. I would like

to enumerate them:

Firstly, a strong United Nations system: For peace’s credibility and effectiveness, a strong

United Nation is an indispensable prerequisite.

Secondly, peaceful resolutions of disputes: Longstanding conflicts and disputes, in particular

Palestine and Kashmir, remain potentially explosive. The two disputes are legacy of the

colonialism. These disputes must be resolved on the basis of UN decisions and respect for the

wishes of the people involved.

Thirdly, rejection of terrorism in all forms and manifestations:

International terrorism must be curbed in all its forms whether carried out by individuals/groups

or sponsored by states. We have to fight this war with vision and understanding. The question is

who is a terrorist? I would like to give a very simple explanation as I understand. I would like to

tell you who is a terrorist. Any killer, any person who kills anybody or also takes his own life to

kill forty other people, is an extremist. He cannot be condoned. It is a wrong act is doing and he

must be condemned for this extremism, but if we stop here and do not go further we are

addressing only symptoms. After all, why this individual is killing anybody? Is he a mad man?


the cause of why this individual is behaving in such a mad or irrational manner, we will

not end up anywhere, we will just address the symptoms. He is an extremist, he must be

condemned but we have to take a step forward and see what the cause of this extremist

act is. So, if we take these step forward and try to understand the cause, we get involved

in who is right and who is wrong and in this right and wrong, if conflicts between states

and individuals are involved, and if these conflicts have some United Nations Security

Council resolutions involved, then you have to see who is right who is violator of these

Security Council resolutions or who is asking for acceptance or implementation of these

resolutions. Who is violating the United Nations resolutions? In my view the party who is

violating United Nations Security Council resolution is wrong and the party which is

asking for the implementation of these resolutions is right. So, therefore, I would like to

conclude that whereas a killer is extremist, the state which is violating the United Nations

Security Council resolution is the terrorist. So here, there is a conflict between extremist

and a state terrorist, so that is what I want to leave as a fruit for thought. Both are wrong,

there should be no extremism and there should be no state terrorism but one can’t put the

entire blame on individual who in a state of desperation and hopelessness asking yearning

for implementation of United Nations Security Council resolution. He is an extremist but

this individual is taking his or her own life to kill fifteen others? So unless we go to6

state happens to be terrorist by violating UN Security Council resolution.

The fourth aspect I wanted to highlight was tolerance and understanding the other

political and social system, values and culture: This is fundamental to peaceful coexistence

between nations and lastly, an equitable and just economic order is essential.

Inequalities cause instability, aggravate insecurity and pour conflict. Therefore, we must work

harder to eliminate poverty and show better trade terms and opportunities to developing

countries sharing advance technologies for human good, protect the environment and create

opportunities for work for all.

Pakistan stands for resolution of all disputes with harmony through a process of dialogue. We

want to develop peaceful relations with India. We want to have a composite dialogue with them

but Kashmir cannot be allowed to be sidelined because that is the dispute which has caused three

wars between us we will deal with India on the basis of a sovereign equality, which is the right of

every independent country. We cannot be coerced or dictated and we will guard our honor and

dignity very well. The Palestine dispute is absolutely essential to be resolved on the basis of

quoted road map. Pakistan supports the solution based on two states — Israel and Palestine coexisting

with each other in harmony. In Iraq and Afghanistan, exit strategy for all foreign troops

needs to crystallized before handing over power to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Stability,

integrity and reconstruction of the countries have to be ensured before exit of the foreign forces.

I would like to dwell very briefly on China’s role in Asia and the world. China’s growing

political and economic strength and increasingly important role on the global stage augers well

for Asia and the world. China’s political weight has been critical for initiating six party talks on

the Korean nuclear issue and averting serious crisis in the region. As the permanent member of

the Security Council, China has important bearing on the issue of international peace and

security. Therefore, China must contribute towards resolution of political disputes more actively

in consonance with the power potential that China has.

Similarly, Chinese economic strength has emerged as positive force for economic stability and

progress in Asia and the world. It provided assurance and safety net to the South Asian

economies when these were shaken by financial crises of 1997 and 98.

The emergence of China and Asia Pacific as the new economic power house has balanced preeminence

of the West. Chinese economic strength is pivotal to the important influence that this

region exercises on global economy.

We look forward to Chinese economic engagements in Central and South West and East.

Similarly to its economic and commercial role across the Asia Pacific. In these regions China

could help accelerate development and bringing about economic integration within Asia. China

is well-placed to assume a key role for consolidation of peace and transformation of economic

landscape of our continent. You all, the students, must know that China in Asia is the only

country which has the geographic continuity with all region, Central Asian region in West South

Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and North East Asia. Therefore, China has economic, political and

strategic role to play in strengthening of economic and political relationship within Asia. This

was really the purpose of the Boao economic forum. The current emphasis on the development

of Western region of China and adjoining region of Pakistan would create new synergies.

Pakistan views the progress and development with great interest. The Karakoram Highway that

links our two countries in eternal friendship can fast become a conduit for reinvigorating our

economic and commercial ties.

Ladies and gentlemen,


I would be remiss if I did not talk about Pakistan very very briefly. In 1999, when I

assumed the responsibilities of the Government, Pakistan’s economy was at dismally low

point as a result of years of corruption, misgoverence and mismanagement. My

government focused on four areas: 1

Economic revival

2. Poverty alleviation

3. Bringing good governance

4. Political restructuring of Pakistan

I will talk only of economic revival in a very brief manner because economy forms the

basis of development in any other sphere of activity. In four years, we have turned the

corner. The economy has not only recovered, it is now dynamic, stable and reasonably

strong. We are getting stronger day by day. All macroeconomic indicators are positive.

Pakistan’s GDP last year grew by

and up to 7%. Our foreign exchange reserves grew to equivalent of twelve months of

import, which is very healthy. Our fiscal deficit which is key to the improvement of

economy was reduced from around 8% to 4%. Our revenue collection rose by about 60%

to 70% in last three years. Exports also rose about

These were all records for Pakistan. Our remittances from Pakistanis abroad rose by four

hundred percent (400%) in the last three years and created new record. Our exchange rate

is very stable. Our stock exchange is performing remarkably well and it is one of the best

performances in the world. Foreign direct investment is on the rise. Any interaction with

the leadership here in China really deals with investment in Pakistan.

Ladies and gentlemen,

So, Pakistan is poised to be the part of great economic transformation that Asia has been

undergoing in the past couple of decades. Finally, let me reflect on the future Pakistan-

China relation. We are determined to further broaden and deepen our mutually

reinforcing and future oriented co-operation in all fields of activities. In years ahead, we

must build a strong and vibrant economic partnership between our countries. We must

encourage the private sector to explore and develop the tremendous potential and

complements in the economic, commercial and technological fields. We must also set

ambitious targets and pursue their realization with utmost vigor. We must also find

venues to facilitate greater people to people contact. We must reinforce our co-operation

in strategic and political fields. We also would like to increase the exchange of students

between China and Pakistan and my current visit to Beijing and Bao is in continuation of

the frequent high level exchange that has been hallmark of our bilateral relation and

measure of trust and understanding between our two countries. Yesterday, I had detail

talks with the President and earlier in Bao I had the opportunity to have discussion with

the Chinese Prime Minister. These exchanges once again underscored the convergence

and internal aspiration of the two countries for the regional and global peace and our

resolve to reinforce mutually beneficial co-oi3eration in all fields of activities. I request

the Peking University make its valuable contribution to further consolidate the multiple

bonds of friendship and co-operation between China and Pakistan. As a modest tribute to

our shared cultural traditions and as a token of our all-weather

operation, I offer the establishment of Pakistan Studies Chair at this illustrious University. I am

confident that this Chair will contribute to further strengthening of Pakistan- China friendship. It

also gives me a great pleasure to institute a “Pakistan Medal” to be awarded to Chinese scholars

to make outstanding contribution in the form of original work towards promoting Pakistan-China

friendship. It also gives me great pleasure to give a set of books to your university, Mr.

President. I thank you all for your patience.

Long live Pakistan-China friendship

Pak-Chung Yoee Wan Sue.

Pak-Zhong Youyi Wan Sui.


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