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Talk about China – Part 5

Mubasher Mir

Peking University is one of the best universities in China. It also has a prominent position in the global ranking. This institution was established on June 11, 1898 by an artist, Sun Jianai. During the reign of the “Guangxu Emperor”, the university was established under an imperial decree. It is now taught in Chinese Mandarin and English. While many languages are taught in foreign language schools. Higher education in engineering, science, technology is also being given in this university. It has an area of 680 acres in which a beautiful lake adds to its beauty. As if it is a city of knowledge and research.
Located in the “Haidian District” of Beijing, we were captivated by this historical school, our host was there to welcome us at the door. The brilliant students of the Urdu department welcomed us, their fluent conversation in Urdu was very impressive. We were slowly walking towards the Urdu department building. And at the same time the introductory conversation was going on.
When the conversation was going on in Urdu and they were also asking questions to everyone with the Chinese girls, Nauman Nizami wanted to capture every scene on camera, so we were taking time to reach the department, While walking along the bank of the beautiful Lake, it was felt that we were not in a university but in a tourist resort.


It was revealed to us that the names of the students of the Urdu class, with whom we were going to the Urdu department, are Aafia, Kainat and Qudsia. Actually, their Chinese names are different, but being students of Urdu language and literature, they have kept their names in Urdu in love of Urdu. It was similar to Mr. Jason and Miss Tong who had English names instead of Chinese names.
Javed Malik asked what is the name of this lake, everyone said that there is no name. I wonder how such a big lake is without a name. It is better to rename it as “Qudsia Lake”. To which there was a loud laugh, and a lively lakeside photography session happened. Outside the Urdu department we were welcomed by Professor Tahira, She is the most competent Urdu teacher who has worked on the culture of Pakistan while being Chinese.
Professor Tahira also named herself “Tahira” in love of Urdu and is called by the same name. His style is very dignified. Pakistan Study Center is established along with Urdu department. Which is headed by Professor Dr. Thang MingSheng He looks a very friendly and has tolerant personality. Patience and calmness is reflected on his face. He got up from his seat, came forward and met us all individually and greeted us warmly. The atmosphere was very pleasant, the building seemed to have been built a long time ago, but its arrangements looked very wonderful.
Professor Tahira said in the introductory session about the Urdu department that at present we have ten students. Chinese people love Urdu language very much. Currently, Urdu departments have been established in eight universities of China. Where the Chinese are familiar with Urdu language and literature, this trend is increasing with the expansion of Pak-China relations.
Professor Dr. Thang Mingsheng revealed regarding the establishment of the Urdu Department that in 1954, our Prime Minister was “Chou Enlai” and Department of Urdu was established at Peking University under his direction.
He said, one can imagine that the history of China is centuries old. although modern China emerged on the world map in a new way in 1949 as a result of the Chinese revolution under the auspices of the Communist Party of China, but its leadership had heartily recognized the importance of Pakistan, and started the education of national language Urdu, it was his vision that we have to start the most important relations with our neighboring country in the near future. He also visited Pakistan and paid an official visit and he really laid the foundation of Pakistan-China relations which is now on its rise.
Professor Thang’s talk was very interesting, his personality is an important example of Pak-China relations and brotherhood. The professor disclosed that he has visited Pakistan 180 times. While the government of Pakistan has also awarded him with the “Sitara e Imtiaz.
There was a discussion on “Urdu in China”, we were told that the number of people who understand, speak and write Urdu in China is also increasing. Pakistanis also visit China in large numbers for business purposes. Joint families are also emerging while the Chinese are now living in large numbers in many cities of Pakistan to complete the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects in Pakistan. Thus, a common civilization is also developing.
This is also the subject of Professor Tahira. His knowledge and expertise in this regard was commendable. She said that you must know that famous poets who write poetry in Urdu in China also have the status of a goodwill ambassador in the promotion of Pakistan-China relations, whose name is “Intekhab Alam”.
This is his Urdu name. He has written very wonderful Urdu poetry and participated in many events in Pakistan. The circle of poets in Pakistan is well aware of him. I regret not being able to meet Intekhab Alam in China.
Professor Thang Ming Sheng wanted the students to communicate as much as possible and share their thoughts with us. Aafia, Kainat and Qudsia were taking great interest in the conversation. Where the conversation was going on in complete Urdu was completely blank to Mr Jason and Miss Tong but they were paying close attention to the facial expressions and were definitely enjoying it.
Aafia said that she has gone to Pakistan and has been studying in the Urdu department of NUML, in Islamabad for some time. Therefore, her knowledge about Pakistan was relatively high. Professor Thang MingSheng was telling that apart from Peking University, Pakistan Study Centers have been established, currently there are twelve Pakistan Study Centers in China. It can be estimated that how much research is being done in China on Pakistan’s history, politics, economics, etc. If the Chinese people are investing in Pakistan, they want to know more about Pakistan. In the light of this research, they can plan better for the future.
Professor Thang MingSheng believed that Pakistani people are spending too much time and energy on politics.You should Cool down the politics a bit and focus on the economy, he suggested. Of course, his words are respected, but politics in Pakistan is very polluted. The common Pakistani has come to the conclusion that if politics is free from pollution and abouse of power and other factors will also be correct. Politics is behind our every problem. Every financial scandal is supported by influential political figures. That is why the politics of Pakistan is not cooling down
According to Professor Thang, there was a time when Pakistan’s economy was much better than China’s. In the 70s, Pakistan’s per capita income was better than China and many ASEAN countries. In the 80s, the economy was very depressed. In the 70s, after the country was bankrupt, the policy of nationalization of business enterprises destroyed the industrial structure in the country, Jagirdars, Vaderas, Sardars etc. became powerful again. Pakistan, becoming an industrial country, started turning back into an import market. Now we are in the worst situation.
But Professor Thang’s advice was very important to focus on improving the economy. If whatever government is working in Pakistan takes decisions in the national interest, signs of improvement can emerge. Difficult decisions are not easy, weak governments cannot do this. The mood of Chinese and Pakistani nation is different. This is the revolutionary era of communication where information spreads rapidly. Therefore, people with less knowledge are not qualified to rule.
Taking advantage of Prof. Thang’s experiences and with the joy that Pakistan’s national language Urdu is being loved in China and the study of Pakistan is also very much researched, we were leaving Peking University. We left with gifts of books and many good wishes. Invited Professor Thang and other friends to visit Pakistan again and again. The more we meet, the more we will get to know each other and the relations between the two nations will be stronger.

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