Pak stands by China in combating militancy in Xinjiang: Sharif

Pak stands by China in combating militancy in Xinjiang: Sharif

Pakistan will stand by China in combating militancy in the Muslim-majority Xinjiang province, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has said, underlining that the "security interests" of both the nations are "interconnected".

Pakistan understands and appreciates Chinese concerns about the security challenges posed by East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang, Sharif said in an article in the state-run Global Times.

"We stand by China in combating ETIM threat. The security interests of Pakistan and China are interconnected and we appreciate the endorsement and support expressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in regards to our efforts in tackling terrorism," Sharif said.

"We are of the firm view that the Chinese interest and participation in rebuilding infrastructure in Afghanistan and support for reconciliation process in that country would greatly enhance the chances of success in our common goals of peace and development," he said, while praising China's efforts to restore peace in war-torn Afghanistan.

The separatist militant group from the Uygur Muslim majority province of Xinjiang blamed for a number of violent incident in the country. It was stated to have bases in Pakistan's tribal areas which came under crackdown in recent months from the army under pressure from China.

Sharif said the USD 46-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) launched by Xi during his visit to Islamabad last month is an "epoch-making" initiative dictated by the "phenomenal economic progress of China".

"The completion of the projects under the umbrella of CPEC will have a revolutionary impact on the economic profile of Pakistan and go a long way in changing the lives of people belonging to all the four provinces of Pakistan," he said.

"China would also undoubtedly benefit from this undertaking in many ways and be in a much better position to expand its commercial interests on the global level by securing shortest possible access route to the Arabian Sea as well as to import oil for its industrial machine at a much lesser cost and time," he said.

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