Pak doesn’t want to be used by militants: Khar

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 18:59

Beijing: Pakistan does not want to be used as a base for militant groups and needs the world’s understanding as it tries to handle its problems, the Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said Wednesday.

Hina Rabbani Khar also said after a two-day trip to Beijing that she wanted to further bolster ties with China, which has been Pakistan’s main supporter.

Chinese officials have blamed extremists trained in Pakistan for deadly attacks in the far west region of Xinjiang last month.

”Pakistan just seeks the world’s understanding for the current challenges that Pakistan is going through….we are the ones and our people are the ones that are paying the price who are experiencing the brunt of it,” said Khar, who was named foreign minister about five weeks ago.

Khar, who held talks with her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and met Premier Wen Jiabao, said Pakistan did not want militant groups.

”We have made it clear to our neighbours and we make it clear again that Pakistan has no interest for its territory to be used by any non-state actors against any other country,” she said.

Islamabad is struggling to deal with the Pakistani Taliban and their affiliates, which seek to topple Pakistan’s government.

Khar said Pakistan was increasing its counter-terrorism cooperation with China.

Last month about 20 people were killed in violence in the far western city of Kashgar in Xinjiang, and Chinese authorities said one attack was carried out by militants trained in weapons and bomb-making at camps run by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement in Pakistan.

The government hasn’t disclosed evidence for that allegation.

Security has been tight across Xinjiang since 2009 when almost 200 people were killed in fighting between majority Han Chinese and the Uighur ethnic group.

Uighurs say they face employment and religious discrimination. China says all ethnic groups are treated equally and government investment and aid have dramatically raised living standards.

Xinjiang is China’s Central Asian frontier, bordering Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia and other countries. Kashgar was an important hub on the ancient route through which Chinese silk and other goods reached Europe.

Bureau Report




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