Speaking at the NPC on Wednesday, a senior Chinese official from Xinjiang hinted at ties between Uighur militants in the region and Pakistan-based terror groups. From the Wall Street Journal:
Nur Bekri, the top government official in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, said Chinese officials believe the Pakistani government opposes recent attacks directed at China. Nonetheless, the unusually explicit comments during a high-profile legislative session suggest growing concern over Islamabad’s inability to fight terrorism.
“We have discovered some East Turkestan activists and terrorists from our neighboring country have countless links,” Mr. Bekri said during a meeting in Beijing of the National People’s Congress, China’s legislative body, which meets once a year.
Mr. Bekri’s comments follow earlier claims in August by the city government of Kashgar, in far western Xinjiang, that suspected assailants there had received explosives and weapons training in terrorist camps across the border in Pakistan.
Analysts have said the increasingly public accusations suggest Beijing is either unhappy with Islamabad’s counterterrorism efforts or is keen to show that attacks in Xinjiang originated abroad.
More fighting took place in Xinjiang last week, with as many as 20 reported dead, as tensions escalate amid a police crackdown on Uighurs in the frontier province. But Bekri added that despite the violent activities taking place in Xinjiang, and any potential involvement by groups outside of China, Pakistan remains an “all-weather friend,” according to Xinhua News.