Mustafa Hyder Sayed, has recently launched an e-magazine of the Pakistan-China Institute, Nihao-Salam. He talks to Blue Chip about the magazine’s role in broadcasting ventures undertaken by the institute, and its function in strengthening bilateral ties between Pakistan and China. The urgent need to establish a public platform for the exchange of expertise between the two countries urged him to establish Nihao-Salam, he claims. This innovative idea is expected to further ingrain the deep-rooted Pak-China friendship.
What was the inspiration behind establishing Nihao-Salam?
Mustafa Hyder Sayed: “With the passing years, the relationship between Pakistan and China is growing closer. The importance of Pakistan is increasing due to its geo-strategic location on the map. In these circumstances, there was no institute or platform designed to bridge the gap between experts and key figures from the two countries. My father, Mushahid Hussain, has been a long term friend of China, and he established the Pakistan-China Institute to promote cooperation and build stronger diplomacy ties. Nihao-Salam, an e-magazine launched by the Pakistan-China Institute, is similarly expected to promote bilateral relations. It is a platform for the exchange of ideas between Pakistani and Chinese institutes. The magazine will hopefully help in further strengthening ties and the inveterate Pak-China friendship.”
How has Nihao-Salam contributed towards enhancing relations between the two countries?
MHS: “The establishment of Nihao-Salam has opened doors towards the establishment of additional literary material that ties Pakistan and China together. The Pakistan-China Institute has just signed an MOU with the Xinjiang government to initiate Youlinmagazine - Youlin meaning friendly neighbour. The publication of the magazine will start next week and it will include articles on cultural issues of the two countries, Pak-China trading commission and entrepreneurs, a guide to China and information on travelling to China via the Silk Road. The expected readers of the magazine will be businessmen, political figures and investors and it will be released in both Pakistan and China.
In addition to that, a book project has also been initiated that can be perceived as embarking on an historical account of Pak-China relationship. It will constitute a timeline of the historical friendship between the two countries and will feature articles by prominent figures like Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Salman Bashir, Masood Khan and General Ehsan-ul-Haq. The book will be edited by Mushahid Hussain and will be a go to Bible on the history of Pak-China friendship. This project is significant because no such literature exits so far that encompasses over 50 years of friendship between the two countries.”
Has Nihao-Salam been successful in uplifting and projecting the initiatives taken by the Pakistan-China Institute?
MHS: “Yes, definitely. The magazine documents and promotes the unique initiatives taken by the Pakistan-China Institute. It provides an avenue for this institutionalized medium to express itself, which in turn intensifies people to people connections. Some of the recent projects undertaken by the institute will greatly benefit from this projection in terms of awareness.
The Pakistan-China Institute recently organized a seminar on ‘Emerging Regional Scenario’, with notable speakers like Dr. Maleeha Lodhi, Dr. Brian Katulis, and Mr. Hamayun Gauhar. Furthermore, an exchange programme involving media personnel is already in the pipeline. Pakistani media is freer now than it ever was, and the media, being such an important institute for Pakistan, will greatly benefit from this international exposure. The institute is not only focused on the immediate significant gains of its ventures, but is also looking at the bigger picture and laying out plans for long term gains. One such scheme is the Roots School System initiative to include Chinese (Mandarin) language in their curriculum. This will be a step towards dissolving the language barrier between the inhabitants of both countries and enable them to interact and forge stronger ties. China is a growing economy, and learning the Chinese language can be a great step for the upcoming generation towards exploring possible career options in China.
All of these endeavours are highlighted in the magazine, creating awareness and recognizing their contribution towards strengthening Pak-China ties. The credit for the magazine’s success and its ability to accomplish its mission can be attributed to its team. Mr. Mohammad Arif, editor Nihao-Salam and webmaster Mr. Muhammad Shahid, are the workhorse behind the production of Nihao-Salam. Hard copies of the magazine are also going to be published soon to make it more accessible to the people.”
Is Nihao-Salam available in Mandarin?
MHS: “Plans are underway to make the magazine available in Mandarin, as well as Urdu. As a matter of fact, the entire website is being translated into Mandarin, consequently, making it available to a wider pool of readers.”