Islamabad, Pakistan-China Institute (PCI), in collaboration with the Chinese Embassy, organized an essay competition, with the topic “To China, With Love -A letter to China”, which aimed to depict the popular perception of Pakistanis, especially youth, regarding Pakistan -China Friendship. The prize distribution ceremony for the winners of the essay competition was held in the Embassy of People’s Republic of China, Islamabad on Tuesday, November 20th. The ceremony was part of the event “Open House Event and Sangam Club Gala 2018”, which was graced by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Pakistan-China Institute, and Yao Jing, Ambassador of China, as the Chief Guests.
Giving the opening remarks, Ambassador Yao Jing said that since the past 40 years of ‘reform & opening up’, the Chinese people have devoted resources towards the economic development of the country, lifting 700 million people out of poverty. He further added that the Chinese economy has been growing at an annual average of 9.5% and through the signing of CPEC, China wishes to bring a similar change for the better in the lives of the people of Pakistan. He further added that Pak-China relations are now in a new stage of enhanced cooperation with CPEC entering a higher level of development.
Senator Mushahid Hussain, began his address by congratulating the Pakistan-China Institute and the Chinese Embassy for organizing the essay competition that received more than 1800 essays from all over Pakistan. He further added it was a great initiative to invite an essay of friendship which encouraged participation from all over Pakistan. The Senator further addressed the audience saying, “CPEC is a success story within a short span of 5 years, providing employment to over 70,000 Pakistanis and empowerment to youth and women through provision of opportunities. There is a need to counter negative propaganda against CPEC emanating from vested interests, in which the media is to play a substantial role.” He further added that success of CPEC is evident from what it has achieved: CPEC has revived dead projects like Gwadar Port and the Thar Coal Mining project, resolved the chronic energy crisis, built the Western Route which has shortened a 2-day journey from Quetta to Gwadar to a mere 8 hours, and CPEC has empowered women of remote places like Thar to play a substantial role in the development projects, adding ‘CPEC today unites the provinces of Pakistan in a common quest for a better tomorrow”. He said “Pakistan is fortunate to have a friend like China that always stood by us through thick and thin”.
Abeera Hassan from Karachi was the first prize winner for the English Category and Tehzeeb Hussain Bercha from Gilgit Baltistan was the first prize winner for the Urdu Category, both of whom were extremely delighted to have received the award, and said that they look forward to such initiatives in the future. They further stressed that this will not only improve the grass root level relationships between the two countries but will also serve as an encouragement to the youth.
The event comprised of cultural performances including Taichi and Chinese folk music.
The event was attended by high profile personalities including Senator Nuzhat Sadiq, Jamal Shah, Director General PNCA, Zhao Lijian, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of China, and Dr. Zhang Daojian, Head of Confucius Institute. The 500-plus diverse audience largely comprised of students from different universities and media groups, plus people from all provinces of Pakistan.