Pak not interested in picking sides between US, China: Hina

Amid the growing global rivalry between the US and China, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hina Rabbani Khar, has said that her country is not interested in picking sides between the two powers since it has always been on good terms with both, media reports said. Instead, Khar told a news outlet that Islamabad is apprehensive about the fallout of an all-out rupture between the US and China, The News reported. In such an instance, Pakistan would face an unfavourable strategic choice. “We are highly threatened by this notion of splitting the world into two blocs,” Khar said, The News reported. She added that the country is very much concerned about this decoupling or anything that splits the world further. “We have a history of being in a close, collaborative mode with the US. We have no intention of leaving that. Pakistan also has the reality of being in a close, collaborative mode with China, and until China suddenly came to everyone’s threat perception, that was always the case,” she said. Front-line states closely watch Pakistan in the contest for strategic influence in Asia. Over the years, as Washington’s cooperation with India has increased, Pakistan has gotten closer to China especially after the latter’s investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). However, Washington is still a significant military partner for Pakistan, while Beijing has recently pledged to deepen economic investment and military cooperation with the country, The News reported.