Pakistan High Commissioner for Sri Lanka Major General (Retd.) Muhammad Saad Khattak expressed confidence on China’s support for his country but warns that countries like Sri Lanka and his own should be ‘mindful about the support extended and taken from other countries’.
“Pakistan-China relationship or Sri Lanka-China relationship all the engagements we are undertaking with the Chinese government I think a lot depends on how our leadership handles,” said the High Commissioner when the media questioned whether countries like Sri Lanka and Pakistan have entrapped to China’s emerging as a super power in the region.
“Our countries are mindful about the support extended and taking from the other countries. We have also seen the support came to our countries from some other countries and schemes attached,” the High Commissioner said, adding that Sri Lanka left certain agreements with other countries because they did not suit the island nation despite the fact that the offering countries were great powers.
“There have been many things on offer for our countries. They were very attractive often. But we thought those to be compromising our sovereignty but we did not opt for those. With the Chinese support I think nothing visibly is happening of the sort,” he said adding, “I don’t see Chinese soldiers swamping over Sri Lanka nor Pakistan.”
However, Khattak said, “Yet at the same time we have to keep in mind that there are no free-lunches.”
“So, therefore it has to be an accommodation of the interest of the countries that are at the giving end, that accommodation would not mean for the leadership to compromise on the fundamentals of your sovereignty and dignity.”
Questioned about the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir between India and Pakistan, the High Commissioner said that his country stands with the UN Resolution but India has brought in Unilateral changes in the region violating the UN Security Council resolution.
“My reference is to the challenges that have emanated by changing the status of the illegally occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a principal stand that we continue to stand with and that is in accordance with the UN resolutions,” he said.
“Despite those stated resolutions India has brought in unilateral changes in the region violating United Nation Security Council Resolutions. Pakistan position always was principle one and continues to remain the same that is to stand with the people of the ‘occupied’ Jammu and Kashmir assisting them politically and diplomatically and ensuring that the issue is addressed according to the United Nations Security Council Resolutions.”