China brushes aside criticism against Pak on terror

China said it "unswervingly" backed Islamabad`s counter-terrorism efforts and asked US to strengthen anti-terror cooperation with its ally by providing more aid.

Last Updated: May 17, 2011, 22:56 PM IST

Beijing: Brushing aside criticism against
Pakistan following the killing of Osama bin Laden, China on Tuesday said it "unswervingly" backed Islamabad`s counter-terrorism
efforts and asked US to strengthen anti-terror cooperation
with its ally by providing more aid.

"Pakistan has made very important contribution to
international counter terrorism cooperation as well as great
sacrifices," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Jiang Yu said, as Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, began a
key visit to the country, declaring China as his country`s
best friend.
Dismissing criticism against Pakistan in the
aftermath of the killing of bin Laden, Jiang said, "China will
unswervingly continue to support Pakistan`s efforts to counter
terrorism. We believe that fending off and countering threat
of terrorism is common challenge facing international
community."

"The international community should join hands
together and jointly tackle the challenge. We hope the
relevant countries will continue to strengthen cooperation
with Pakistan in this regard and provide further assistance,"
she said, without making a direct reference to US.
"Indeed Pakistan is the victim of terrorism," Jiang
said.

Her comments came ahead of Gilani`s four day visit
beginning from today during which he is scheduled to hold
talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao on a host of issues including pressure being exerted by
Washington to crackdown hard on Taliban and other militant
groups.

Giliani`s visit is taking place in the immediate
aftermath of the visit of US Senator John Kerry during which
he reportedly delivered a tough message to Pakistani
leadership to crackdown on Taliban leaders and conveyed the
prevailing negative mood in Washington over continuing massive
anti terror aid to Pakistan.

In her replies Jiang did not reveal whether China
would step in and provide any assistance to Pakistan on its
own during Gilani`s visit but said Beijing would look to
"further consolidating and developing friendship and
cooperation" as it is common aspiration of people of both the
countries.

"We are willing to work together along with Pakistani
side to create a bright future for that relationship," she
said.

PTI