China sees links between Xinjiang militants and Pak terrorists

China sees links between Xinjiang militants and Pak terrorists

China today said it has found "thousand and one links" between the militants in its volatile Xinjiang province and terrorist groups in Pakistan but bailed out its "all weather friend" saying that Islamabad has promised full support to stamp out terror threat.

"We have certainly discovered that East Turkestan activists and terrorists in our neighboring states have a thousand and one links," Nur Bekri, chairman of Xinjiang regional government said here today.

"The Pakistani government has also expressed the willingness to maintain China's sovereignty and core interests in fighting terrorism against China," he said on the sidelines of the Pareliament session here.

Violent activities by individual terrorists at the same time will not affect the close friendship between China and Pakistan, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Bekri, as saying.

Significantly, while highlighting Bakri's comments, Xinhua said: "a group of religious extremists led by militants trained in terrorist camps in Pakistan set fire to a restaurant and randomly killed civilians in Xinjiang's Kashgar in July last year, leaving six civilians killed and 15 others injured".

Kashghar is border town near Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.

"An investigation found that the group's leaders had learned how to make explosives and firearms in camps of the terrorist group East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Pakistan before entering Xinjiang to organise terrorist activities," it said.

The allegation last year sparked off speculation about China's growing impatience with its strategic ally over the growing militant attacks in the province, which is the home for Uighur Muslim minority.

However, Chinese officials subsequently played it down saying that the charge was made by a local government and not by the central government.

The attacks, however, continued in the recent months and China stepped up deployment of its security forces to contain it. The violence escalated after 2009 riots in which over 100 people were killed.

"Anti-terrorism is a global task, as terrorism is threatening the lives of all people in the world," Bakri was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

Bakri said international cooperation is needed to combat against terrorism apart from domestic prevention and crackdown.

He said stability is the precondition for Xinjiang's development. "Stability is an overwhelming task, as there won't be development without stability."