Pakistan tells 'Chinese brothers', Uighur leader killed

Pakistan and China have "broken the back" of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, Pakistan's Interior Minister said in Beijing on Friday.

Pakistan tells 'Chinese brothers', Uighur leader killed

Pakistan and China have "broken the back" of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), Pakistan's Interior Minister said in Beijing on Friday.

An alleged leader of the group, about which little is known, has been killed, Rehman Malik said at the end of a visit to discuss security cooperation between the two countries.

China has granted long-standing ally Pakistan a $180 million loan to purchase police equipment, including armoured personnel carriers and bullet-proof jackets, Malik told reporters.

"I am happy to inform you that their back is broken, it's weakened," Malik said, referring to ETIM.

"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 appeared to be referring to Abdul Haq, an ETIM leader also known as Memetiming Memeti, who China says took over leadership of ETIM in 2003 after the death in Pakistan of previous leader Hasan Mahsum.

China accuses ETIM of training camps of men seeking independence for East Turkistan, home to the Uighurs, a Muslim, Turkic-speaking ethnic group. Most of the information on the group comes from Chinese security forces.

"We will ensure with China they are rooted out, eliminated ... the main leadership is eliminated," Malik said.

Clashes over the summer between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighur residents in Urumqi, East Turkistan's capital, left 197 people dead, according to Chinese government figures. However, Uighur exile groups said up to 800 people died, many of them Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.

Uighurs also say July violence was initially triggered when police cracked down harshly on peaceful demonstrations in Urumqi that were held in protest of the beating deaths of two Uighur migrant workers at a factory in southern China.

"Chinese brothers"

On a visit to China in June last year, Malik said "militants" in the mountainous frontier of China and Pakistan have formed a "syndicate," and Beijing and Islamabad were cooperating to stamp them out.

"I assured my Chinese brothers and sisters, the leadership here, that we will be very heavy," Malik said.

China is a major diplomatic and financial backer of Pakistan.

In addition to the loan, China has offered a training programme for Pakistani forces and donated 2 million yuan for the procurement of police equipment, Malik said.

"We have also heard this but we don't have any further information and so cannot elaborate," Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, an exile group, said on Friday.

"We don't know this person so we have no way to verify."

A Uighur man, Memet Turghun Abdulla, has been held by police since August after posting information on the Internet about a fatal attack by Han Chinese workers on Uighur workers in South China last year, Raxit said on Friday.

Many Uyghurs resent the Han Chinese rule, complaining they're marginalised economically and politically in their own land, while having to tolerate a rising influx of Han Chinese migrants.

Meanwhile, human rights groups accuse Beijing of using claims of "terrorism" as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment and expressions of Uyghur identity.

East Turkistan, which has 8 million Uyghurs, borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region.


Last Mod: 07 Mayıs 2010, 16:42
Add Comment