Would continue anti-terror cooperation: Pak tells China

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Islamabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Pakistan today assured Chinathat it would continue anti-terrorism cooperation with it,particularly efforts to tackle activities of the EastTurkistan Islamic Movement whose operatives are believed to beactive in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani conveyed theassurance during a meeting with Ai Ping, Vice Minister of theInternational Department of the Communist Party of China.

Pakistan will "persist in its anti-terrorismcooperation with, China particularly with regard to the ETIM",Gilani told the visiting Chinese leader.

He reiterated the Pakistan government''s continuedsupport to the "one China policy", Chinese reunification withTaiwan and the Chinese government''s efforts to safeguard itssovereignty and territorial integrity.

Pakistan considers Tibet an integral part of China, headded.

Beijing has in recent years conveyed to Islamabad itsconcerns about the activities of ETIM operatives based inPakistan''s restive tribal belt.

ETIM is a militant group fighting for an independentstate in China''s Xinjiang province that is believed to haveclose links with Al Qaida and other militant groups based inthe tribal region.

Pakistani authorities have claimed to have killedseveral ETIM leaders and members in recent years.

Ai Ping thanked the Pakistan government for itscontinued support to China on the Taiwan, Tibet and ETIMissues and agreed with Gilani that the "excellentstate-to-state and party-to-party ties should be translatedinto fostering even stronger economic, trade, investment,defence and social ties between the two countries".

Gilani expressed satisfaction at ongoing cooperationbetween the two countries at international forums and saidPakistan and China had "identical positions on most ofregional and international issues" and should strengthen theircoordination and cooperation at the UN.

Pakistan and China are observing 2011 as the 60thanniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relationsthrough a series of year-long events.

Gilani is expected to visit China in the middle of theyear and the Chinese President will travel to Pakistan in thelatter half of the year.

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