Political stability badly needed for Pakistani development
Published: Jul 26, 2018 10:08 PM

Pakistanis voted for a new government Wednesday in an election marred by allegations of fraud and a series of deadly attacks. Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) declared victory Thursday.

Pakistan is facing grave challenges. Pakistan's economic woes have worsened and critics believe a debt crisis looms. Furthermore the country has been afflicted by the haunting security nightmare of terrorist attacks that were strongly condemned by China. The latest saw a suicide blast kill 31 people outside a polling station.

It's imperative the new government stabilize the country and introduce policies and measures to promote development. A five-year period of stability is needed to put the country on the path to development. Pakistan is an important country in South Asia and an international frontier in global counter-terrorism operations. An unstable Pakistan is in the interest of no one.

As an important neighbor of Pakistan and an all-weather strategic partner, China hopes Pakistan can maintain political stability and advance on the right development track. This is not only because of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a mega project for regional connectivity, but also because maintaining stability in the surrounding areas and promoting regional cooperation for common development is an important goal of China's neighborhood policy.

As China and Pakistan are jointly developing the multi-billion-dollar project, the China factor has become a hot topic in the Pakistan elections this year. Western media outlets have been suggesting the corridor was at stake due to government change and hyping Imran Khan's reservations about the project. Although Khan during the campaign questioned the transparency of the corridor's implementation, he still affirmed his strong support for it and Pakistan's economic and social development in an interview with Chinese media. He said the launch of the corridor had injected a new energy into Pakistan's national development and "in the future, the corridor will receive wide support from all sectors of Pakistani society."

Despite Pakistan's domestic political wrangling, the country's political circles have basically reached a consensus on support for the corridor. It's not difficult to predict that the new Pakistani government will continue to promote it, especially to ensure the corridor's so-called "early harvest" projects are completed on time. It's also foreseeable in the future that Western countries and media will continue to make an issue of the corridor and Chinese investment in Pakistan in an attempt to drive a wedge between China and Pakistan. The new Pakistani government should be particularly wise to this.

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