Beijing, May 8 (ANI): Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that a leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which China accuses of orchestrating attacks in its restive Xinjiang region, has been killed which has subsequently served a severe blow to the group.
Interacting with reporters on the last day of his two-day China visit, Malik said Pakistan together with Beijing has been able to break ETIM's back and has eliminated its top leaders.
"I am happy to inform you that their back is broken, it's weakened. We treat ETIM not only as an enemy of China but also as an enemy of Pakistan ... Now the other so-called gang leader Haq has been killed recently, I can confirm that," Malik said while referring to Abdul Haq, an ETIM leader, who is also known as Memetiming Memeti.
"We have witnessed that the ETIM terrorists are weakened and they are no more that kind of organisation," Malik added.
Beijing maintains that Haq had taken over the ETIM's leadership after the death of its Pakistani commander Hasan Mashum in 2003.
However, the World Uyghur Congress has denied any knowledge about any such ETIM leader being killed.
"We have also heard this but we don't have any further information and so cannot elaborate. We don't know this person so we have no way to verify," The Dawn quoted Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, as saying.
In July last year, about 200 people were killed in Xinjiang's ethnically divided Urumqi city in violent clashes between Han Chinese workers and Uighur workers. (ANI)