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For the Common Good: Electricity Lights Up Chinese, Pakistani Friendship

Updated: November 18, 2022

May 3, 2022, was the Islamic Eid al-Fitr holiday in Pakistan. On that day, the Matiari converter station of Pak Matiari-Lahore Transmission Company (PVT) Limited held a big celebration event, at which Chinese and Pakistani staff members barbecued, let off fireworks and sang and danced together. A man from East China's Shandong Province who wore shalwar kameez, a kind of traditional Pakistani clothes, stood out in the crowd. His typical eastern face was shining, set off by the clothes. He was Sun Qinpei, head of the second maintenance group of the station.

In September 2020, the station welcomed its first Pakistani workers. Zafar signed a teacher-student agreement with Sun. From then on, the two became both master and apprentice and friends and made progress together. Sun made a targeted training plan for Zafar and taught him knowledge gained from his rich experience. Thanks to Sun's guidance, Zafar is now able to carry out various kinds of work after practices and challenges. There's an old saying in Chinese: You throw a peach to me, and I give you a white jade for friendship. To express his respect and appreciation to his Chinese master, Zafar gave Sun a suit of shalwar kameez as a gift. They promised to wear the splendid dress together on Pakistan's traditional holiday.

Similar stories happened to Zhao Hang who also received a special gift from his apprentice Ashraf on Sept 10, Teacher's Day. It was a family portrait that Ashraf painted following a photo from Zhao's WeChat Moments. The portrait encouraged him to continue to work overseas. Zhao was deeply moved by Ashraf's gift.

Go back to November 2020 when Ashraf just came to work for the Matiari-Lahore ±660kV HVDC Transmission Project. That's where their friendship started.

From then on, Zhao offered Ashraf individualized teaching and positive guidance in both his life and work, which helped Ashraf quickly adapt to work at the converter station and progress in professional techniques.

Ashraf loves China very much and often asked Zhao to teach him Chinese. With Zhao's help, Ashraf progressed quickly in the Chinese language. He also put up Spring Festival couplets and hung lanterns at the station with Chinese workers, enjoying Chinese culture within the celebratory atmosphere.

There is an Urdu poem in Pakistan, saying that "the beautiful image of a friend is in the mirror of my heart. I can see it whenever I look down." Chinese and Pakistani workers have put each other into their hearts through more than 700 days and nights of living and working together. Electricity not only illuminates the nights of Pakistan, but also lights up friendship between the Chinese and Pakistani people.

(Executive editor: Li Zhiyong)