Book Review
China & Pakistan: An Intriguing Relationship

By M. Khalid Rahman
Chicago, IL


China & Pakistan: An Intriguing Relationship

Awakened China Shakes the World and Is Now Pakistan’s Mainstay: Memoirs of a Diplomat.

By Mohammed Yunus.

IPS Press

1 St. 8, F-6/3, Islamabad, Pakistan.

First published 2015

Pakistan Rupee: 800


The media reports that China is developing Pakistan’s southern port of Gwadar, are as important, if not more, as the news that India, Iran and Afghanistan have signed a tripartite deal to build the Iranian Chabahar port near Balochistan.

From Chahbahar in Iran, India is to build a transport-and-trade corridor through Afghanistan that could cut down the time and cost of transportation from the Persian Gulf to Central Asian states. Which country will the route really benefit? The major beneficiary, of course, would be India since its mutual relations with neighboring Pakistan have remained dicey since independence from the British crown, and China and Pakistan have not let India use trade routes passing through these countries.

Traditionally, the supply line to the landlocked Afghanistan passed from Pakistan’s ports as well as from India’s western border route that passed through Pakistan. Both passed through Pakistan to Afghanistan. This, certainly, is crucial for India as it is expected to counter China’s expanding influence in the Indian Ocean region through the Gwadar port.

It is a fact that China is the mainstay of Pakistan and, by all means, it shall remain so. If it had not been for China, Pakistan’s powerful neighbor would have overpowered it. So, despite criticism from certain quarters inside Pakistan, had this country not provided a conduit to China to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf and the affluent Arab markets, things would not have been so supportive between China and Pakistan.

The author believes “as a measure of Pakistan’s success in China, I would . . . point out that from being one of the smallest Embassies of Pakistan, the embassy in Beijing became one of the largest over time.” He also points out, “It would not be an exaggeration to say that Pakistan’s existing defense capability owes itself largely to China. The foundation of the crucially important defense cooperation between Pakistan and China was laid by President Ayub [Khan] in 1965 in the teeth of opposition from United States after he had been disillusioned of the promised United States support in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965. What the United States withheld from Pakistan, China replaced in ample measure and continues to do so even now.”

The book, actually an autobiography of Mohammed Younus, is a very interesting account of the day-to-day life in diplomatic circles, especially among the Pakistanis, during the yesteryear. It also discusses China’s state policies. It is a record of personal events colored by the author’s life-long memories and experiences, carries valuable revelations and original information. It also provides an insight into many an historic event vis-à-vis Pakistan-China relations.

It is an intriguing analysis of the rise and fall of the banking genius Agha Hassan Abedi and his empire BCCI (The Bank of Credit and Commerce International), an international bank that was founded in 1972. Registered in Luxembourg, the bank had head offices in Karachi and London. The author was a senior adviser of BCCI and its founder.

Dr Mohammed Younus, former ambassador of Pakistan, has spent a large part of his diplomatic career in China. He also served his country as director-general of the ministry of foreign affairs. In his post-retirement years, he remained active as a visiting professor of political science at the Calgary University in Canada. He has several books to his credit, including: Bhutto and the Breakup of Pakistan, Reflections on China: An Ambassador’s View from Beijing, Introduction to World Politics, China: Emergence of a World Power, Has Marxism Failed? Historic Turns in the Twentieth Century, Islam: A Threat to Other Civilizations, Foreign Policy: A Theoretical Introduction, South Asia: A Historical Narrative and Islam: Its Past and Present.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.