`Almost all` Uighur militants in Pakistan `eliminated`

BEIJING: Almost all members of the Uighur militant group, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), have been eliminated from Pakistan, President Mamnoon Hussain said here on Wednesday.

During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People, he said the ongoing anti-terror Zarb-i-Azb operation `has been successful in eradicating terrorism from our country`.

`It has also been very helpful in eliminating the ETIM element from our country and I think almost all ETIM people in our country have been eliminated.

`If some of them were still there, their number would be very few, he added.

China blames violent unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang on Islamist separatist groups like the E TIM, which it says has bases in countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

President Mamnoon is in China to attend a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two in Asia.

`China will unswervingly support Pakistan`s efforts in safeguarding its national security, Mr Xi told the president, according to China`s official Xinhua news agency.

He said his country attached high priority to its strategic partnership with Pakistan and would always support it on all international and regional issues.

According to the Prime Minister`s Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi, the Chinese president spoke about excellent and strong relations between Pakistan and China and termed it an example for other countries.

President Xi assured President Mamnoon that the Chinese government and companies would keep their focus on the ongoing projects in Pakistan and would ensure their timely completion.

President Mamnoon expressed satisfaction over the progress of work on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and said the project would usher in an era of peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the entire region.

He said Pakistani nation was eagerly waiting for completion of the projects related to the CPEC, including upgradation of Karakorum Highway and Gwadar airport and establishment of industrial parks along the corridor.

President Mamnoon reiterated Pakistan`s desire for peaceful relations with its neighbours, including India, and said his country had always been willing to hold dialogue with India for resolving all outstanding issues.

He said Pakistan valued China`s efforts in promoting intra Afghan dialogue for sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

President Mamnoon also attended a dinner hosted by President Xi in the honour of world leaders visiting China to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World WarII.-Agencies

Published in Dawn