Zardari vows to crackdown on ETIM militants ''trained'' in Pak

Asif Ali Zardari
Beijing, Aug 31: President Asif Ali Zardari today (Aug 31) assured Islamabad's full cooperation to combat Uyghur militants trained in Pakistan and blamed by China for series of attacks in the restive Xinjiang province and offered its territory and ports to boost bilateral trade and linkages with Central Asia.

Zardari, who is is currently visiting Urmuqi, the capital of China's troubled northwest Xinjiang province as part of a three-day visit to the country, the seventh official tour in the last three years, underlined Pakistan's commitment to root out terrorism and extremism during talks with top officials.

During his meeting with the political leaders of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region led by Zhang Chunxian, the Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) Xinjiang, Zardari assured Beijing his country's fullest cooperation in defeating the evils of extremism, terrorism and secessionism, Pakistan's state-run APP news agency reported.

His meeting was significant as the local government of Kashghar city on August 1 blamed militants of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) trained in Pakistan terror camps for carrying out attacks in the province.

Zardari, who arrived in Urmuqi yesterday to take part in the first China-Eurasia Expo being organised by China, is scheduled to meet Chinese Vice Premier Li Kaqing, who is expected to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao in 2013.

"We offer our territory and ports for Chinese trade," he said, adding that since Pakistan considers Kashghar as an intersection for facilitating and promoting communications of China with Pakistan and Central Asia and beyond, there was a need for establishing an air link between Kashgar and Pakistan.

He also stressed on developing an overland trade facilitation regime by integrated border management and to develop a trans-border economic zone between Xinjiang and Northern Pakistan, APP reported.


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