China asks Pak to be wary of separatist Turkestan's designs to harm ties

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Islamabad, Apr 19 : Chinese ambassador in Pakistan Luo Zhaohui has said that the Turkestan Islamic Movement, a militant separatist group in its Xinjiang province, was an 'unfriendly' force trying to disrupt its relations with Pakistan.

He said that China wanted Pakistan to be aware of these disruptive elements.

According to the Dawn, this was possibly the first time that China has publicly spoken about difficulties in relations with Pakistan.

"The Turkestan Islamic Movement ... is really sometimes active, very active from your areas, certain provinces, such forces we never say are happy about our brotherly relations," the paper quoted Zhaohui as saying.

China describes the Turkestan Islamic Movement as a terrorist group and suspects that it is linked with Al Qaeda that has been providing "training and funding" to the militant movement.

The ambassador said that the Chinese government realised that the people and the government of Pakistan were friends of China, "but there were certain forces working inside Pakistan which could damage bilateral relations".

However, he said he was optimistic that the two countries would be able to overcome these forces. "No one can damage our bilateral relations, cooperation and traditional friendship. It is an all-weather friendship," he added.

ANI

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