China is committed to offering all possible support to Pakistan to help it fight the menace of terrorism. Talking to students of Peshawar University, Chinese ambassador to Pakistan, Sun Weidong said Tuesday that terrorism was the common enemy of the two countries. Pakistan has made “tremendous progress” in improving its security situation, reports the Associated Press of Pakistan.
Pakistan a victim of terrorism, says China
Weidong said a peaceful Pakistan was critical to further improving China-Pakistan socio-economic partnership. His remarks come ahead of the anniversary of terrorist attacks on the Army Public School. In December 2014, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists had killed 144 innocent children in Peshawar in a barbaric attack. Since then, the Pakistani military has intensified offensive against terrorists hiding in Waziristan and other tribal areas under operation Zarb-e-Azb.
Beijing says Pakistan itself is a “victim of terrorism.” Islamabad is also targeting the Uighur militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) who have frequently carried out violent attacks in China’s Xinjiang province. Uighur militants hide in Pakistan and Afghanistan’s lawless tribal areas, under protection of other militants. China fears that dozens of Uighur militants who have joined the Islamic State in Syria may return to the country to wage jihad in the restive Xinjiang province.
Pakistan has almost eliminated ETIM militants
In October, Pakistani defense minister Khawaja Asif said during his trip to Beijing that most of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) militants have been eliminated, and only a small number of them were left in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Asif added that Islamabad and Beijing were on the same page in terms of eliminating terrorism. Pakistan is key to what unfolds in Afghanistan, which also borders China’s Xinjiang province.
Beijing has strategic interest in a peaceful Pakistan. China has pledged to invest $45 billion in Pakistan as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Pakistani army has formed a special task force for the security of thousands of Chinese workers involved in various infrastructure project across the country.