Pakistan, China fighting militancy together: Malik
* Interior minister says ETIM has ‘formed a syndicate’ with Taliban
* Says China has provided intelligence, supplies for Pakistani police
BEIJING: Pakistan and China are cooperating to stamp out violent groups that span their borders, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday, claiming that the Taliban had formed a “syndicate”.
Malik was speaking in Beijing, where he has been discussing closer cooperation with senior Chinese officials, who said their country’s northwest Xinjiang region was menaced by Uighur separatists who had links in Central Asia and the borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Syndicate: Malik told Reuters the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group Beijing has accused of orchestrating violent attacks, has “formed a syndicate” with the Taliban and other militant groups in the mountain regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Pakistan has handed Chinese nationals accused of insurgent activity back to China and will continue to do so, Malik added.
“Obviously, in all our actions we are not sparing them. We are taking action,” he said of ETIM. “Whoever is arrested...that militant shall be handed back to China without any reservations.”
Supplies: China had also provided intelligence and supplies for Pakistani police forces, Malik added. Beijing is also a major diplomatic backer of Islamabad, and Chinese-backed infrastructure projects in Pakistan have gone ahead despite kidnappings and attacks aimed at Chinese nationals.
Malik said Pakistan must be ready for more attacks by the Taliban, adding that security forces were seeking to prevent them from regrouping outside Swat. reuters