China seeks Pakistan help to nab six terrorists
Beijing: Although China and Pakistan are closest of allies but that has not stopped Beijing from raising the red flag over ‘production’ of militants operating in its restive far western region of Xinjiang.
China has given rare details of what it says are the links between these militant groups and neighbouring countries - most likely Pakistan - as it unveiled a list of six wanted suspects.
The Ministry of Public Security has published the names of the suspects, all apparently ethnic Uighurs, on its website, along with their photographs and an outline of their alleged crimes.
All six had spent time in what the ministry called "a certain south Asian country" - a likely reference to Pakistan - where they were trained to carry out terror attacks and incited militants in China to carry out suicide bombings and knife attacks.
The ministry said Nuermaimaiti Maimaitimin had been given a 10-year jail term in 1999 in the unnamed south Asian country, but had escaped in 2006 and then proceeded to send a comrade-in-arms back to Xinjiang where he masterminded an attack last year.
China has blamed incidents of violence in Xinjiang, home to the Turkic-speaking Muslim Uighur people, on Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state of East Turkestan.
Some Chinese officials have blamed attacks on Muslim militants trained in Pakistan, though the foreign ministry has refrained from public criticism of the neighbour.
Both Chinese and Pakistani officials have said that the militants based in western China have ties to the Pakistani Taliban and other militants in northwestern Pakistani regions along the Afghan border.
Exiled Uighur groups and human rights activists say China overstates the threat posed by militants in Xinjiang, which sits astride south and central Asia.
China sees Xinjiang as a bulwark against the predominantly Muslim countries of central Asia. The region, with a sixth of the country`s land mass, is also rich in natural resources, including oil, coal and gas.
Pakistan and China have long been allies but Pakistan has leaned closer to China as its relationship with the United States, Islamabad`s main donor, has become more strained.
With agency inputs
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