China’s foreign minister Wang Yi came out in defence of Pakistan within four days of agreeing to a joint declaration under the aegis of BRICS to condemn two Pakistan based terrorist groups.
Pakistan has not been given “full credit” for its efforts to battle terrorism by “some countries”, China’s foreign minister said. Wang made a serious effort to reassure Pakistan, which rushed its foreign minister to Beijing, about his government’s continued support.
Pakistan has not been given “full credit” for its efforts to battle terrorism by “some countries”, Wang said while referring to US President Donald Trump’s criticism of Islamabad for sheltering terror groups. He made the statement in a joint press conference with his Pakistani counterpart, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who came rushing soon after the BRICS declaration.
China’s decision to join India and other countries to condemn Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, the two Pakistan based terror groups, led some to believe that Beijing was reviewing its approach towards Islamabad. Wang made a serious effort to reassure Pakistan about his government’s continued support, which rushed its foreign minister to Beijing.
“When it comes to the issue of counterterrorism, we believe Pakistan has done its best with a clear conscience. In comparison, some countries need to give Pakistan the full credit it deserves,” Wang said.
There are signs that Asif has offered some additional assurances that it will crush Pakistan based leaders of East Turkmenistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which has been involved in a bloody struggle with local authorities in the Xinjiang region of western China, which borders Pakistan. China has been sore about its inability to cut off the links between Pakistan-based Taliban and ETIM terrorism in Xinjiang.
Wang went to the extent of saying that Pakistan had “a clear conscience” and had made “great sacrifices” in the battle against terrorism. “The government and people of Pakistan made huge efforts and sacrifice in the fight against terrorism and such efforts and sacrifice are there for everyone to see,” he said adding, “the international community should recognise that”.
The BRICS summit which was recently held in the Chinese city of Xiamen had issued a joint declaration condemning violence caused by “the Taliban, ISIL/DAISH, al-Qaida and its affiliates including Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, TTP and Hizb ut-Tahrir”.
“Terrorism is a global issue and requires concerted efforts from all countries.. Instead of blaming each other, countries need to work with each other”, Wang said. “Pakistan is a good brother and iron friend of China. No one knows Pakistan and understands Pakistan better than China. For years, Pakistan has been a victim of terror and more importantly, Pakistan is an important participant in international cooperation against terrorism.”
On his part, Asif tried to show that the main problem of terrorism was connected to Afghanistan, thereby implying that Pakistan was not much of an issue.
“China is playing constructive role in this regard and we fully support that. One of the purposes of the visit was to exchange views with foreign minister Wang on how best Pakistan and China can contribute to finding a solution to the Afghan problem,” he told journalists. Talking about trilateral meetings between China, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Asif said Pakistan appreciated “Chinese efforts to strengthen trilateral arrangements and we reiterate our support to Chinese proposal for hosting trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting”.