Soon after the Chinese government accused Muslim militants trained in Pakistan fof a murderous attack in the northwestern Xinjiang province on Sunday, Islamabad vowed to help Beijing root out terrorists in its midst.
The local government in the Chinese city of Kashgar, which is situated near the border of Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan, said the attack that killed 11 people was carried out by a separatist group, which received weapons from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which has camps based in Pakistan.
"Pakistan is fully confident that the patriotic people of Xinjiang autonomous region of the People's Republic of China and, in particular, Kashgar as well as the Chinese government, will succeed in frustrating evil designs of the terrorists, extremists and separatists, who constitute an evil force," said Tehmina Janjua, a spokeswoman for the Pakistani foreign ministry, in a statement.
The attack came in tandem with a visit to China by Pakistan’s Chief Intelligence Officer, Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.
Pakistan, which has seen much financial and military aid from the U.S. become endangered due to the controversy surrounding the discovery of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a compound near Islamabad in May, is looking more to China to pick up the slack.
Thus, Pakistan cannot afford to antagonize China.
Dr. Hasan Askari, a leading Pakistani defense analyst told the media: "If China takes up the issue officially with Pakistan, it will fully cooperate.”
He added that Beijing would not criticize Pakistan publicly.
Founded in the early 1990s, ETIM seeks to create a new independent state called East Turkestan (the Uighur name for Xinjiang), and to convert local Chinese to Islam.