BEIJING: Following the recent surge in violence in the interior areas of Xinjiang, Chinese authorities have linked these incidents with Islamic separatists who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan. Some Chinese officials have blamed attacks on militants trained in Pakistan, though China’s Foreign Ministry has refrained from public criticism of Pakistan. Xinjiang’s governor, however, was more explicit while commenting on the issue. “We have certainly discovered that East Turkestan activists and terrorists in our neighbouring states have a thousand and one links,” Nur Bekri said on the sidelines of China’s annual meeting of parliament, when asked about a Pakistan connection with attacks in Xinjiang.“But officials, especially in Pakistan, have said over and over again they oppose any violent activities directed against China and will maintain China’s national sovereignty and core interests,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.