Notify about acts of terrorism in Pakistan
Notify about acts of terrorism in Pakistan
KARACHI - Following the military storming of the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad, considered a hotbed for support of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, US President George W Bush has praised Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf's role in checking extremism.
"Musharraf is a strong ally in the war against these extremists. I like him and I appreciate him," Bush said.
But while such praise from Musharraf's international allies is to be expected (see Pakistan's iron fist is to the US's liking, Asia
Times Online, July 11), within the country not everyone is convinced the government did the right thing.
"Whether they were security forces personnel or Lal Masjid militants, both were Muslims and both were martyrs," said Maulana Hanif Jalandari, the secretary general of the Federal Board of Islamic Seminaries, during a television debate. Jalandari was part of the negotiating team that failed to prevent the troops from being sent into the mosque after their bid to grant the occupants a safe passage out was rejected.
At least 60 people died in fighting after the troops went in on Tuesday, according to military reports, while about the same number of women and children who had been held hostage were rescued. On Wednesday morning there was still sporadic fighting in a seminary adjacent to the mosque.
The deputy chief cleric of Lal Masjid, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, was among the dead, apparently caught in crossfire. The chief cleric, Ghazi's brother, Maulana Abdul Aziz, was earlier apprehended outside the mosque. He was dressed in a woman's burqa and is widely believed to have been tricked by intelligence agencies into leaving the mosque, ostensibly for negotiations.
During the debate on television, which also included Shah Abdul Aziz, a member of the National Assembly from the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, a six-party religious alliance, and Minister of Religious Affairs Ejaz ul-Haq, passions ran high and tears flowed. Both men were a part of the unsuccessful negotiating team.
"We did not want this operation to happen. Till our last we aimed to save lives. It is you who prompted Ghazi on the phone to be steadfast and not to lay down his weapons," ul-Haq accused Aziz. Aziz responded by calling ul-Haq and Musharraf the "biggest hypocrites", but he did admit that he had told Ghazi not to accept any humiliating terms of surrender.
Soon after the military operation began on Tuesday, Ghazi spoke to the media for the last time. "The room is full of smoke and I am having difficulty in talking. I appeal to the nation to stand up against this system of exploitation and work for an Islamic system of life ... the government blames us for using heavy weapons. I ask the media to come and question where those weapons are, and if we are using such weapons, where is the damage caused by such arms? We have only 14 AK-47 guns, most of them are licensed.
"I know my martyrdom is certain and I tell you that the government was never sincere in talking to us. After every sentence [while negotiating] they threatened us. They don't want talks. They just want to break us and humiliate us, so we prefer death.
"There were religious and political leaders who did not play any [positive] role and instead rang me only to try to terrify us with the wrath of the government and ask us to surrender. God will make them accountable on the day of judgment. I thank my friends in the media with whom I have spent a lot of good times and who have passed on my message," Ghazi's message concluded.
The 43-year-old Ghazi enjoyed widespread popularity in Pakistan, although he was not a mullah - he had a master's degree in international affairs from Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad, as well as a master's in political science. He worked as an assistant director in the United Nations Children's Fund but after the murder of his father in 1998 he chose to become deputy prayer leader at the mosque. His father, Abdullah Aziz, founded the Red Mosque and his death had a profound effect on both brothers. Ghazi had fought briefly against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
In conversations with Pakistani militants over the years this correspondent frequently heard words to the effect that they never had the chance to see Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri or Taliban leader Mullah Omar, but they did have the chance to meet Ghazi.
The Pakistani media interviewed a number of the girls who were released from the mosque and the neighboring seminary, and many of them said that they regretted not having been able to become martyrs alongside their teacher, Ghazi.
Ghazi was certainly more restrained than his brother Aziz - even ul-Haq termed him a moderate - and Aziz is blamed for most of the mosque's hardline image.
Charges and counter-charges
Musharraf prepared the background for the raid by getting ul-Haq to inform the media that the government had information that several internationally wanted terrorists were holed up inside the Lal Masjid complex, which includes seminaries for male and female Islamic scholars, writes Zofeen Ebrahim of Inter Press Service.
"Nine suspected terrorists, said to be far more dangerous and harmful than al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives, were hiding inside the mosque compound," ul-Haq said at a Sunday press conference, though he refused to reveal their identities.
According to ul-Haq, the "high value terrorists" were in control of the mosque and not the chief cleric, who, he claimed, was being held hostage along with women and children.
Trouble began brewing at Lal Masjid early this year when its affiliated seminary for women, Jamia Hafsa, occupied a children's library demanding reconstruction of six mosques that had been demolished because they stood on encroached land. They further demanded strict enforcement of sharia law, and kidnapped an alleged brothel owner in a bid to chastise her.
By early April, the mosque had set up a sharia court and Aziz announced that any attempt to close it down would be avenged by thousands of suicide attacks.
"Moral squads" of girls and boys from the seminary were then allowed to rampage through the streets to "prevent vices and promote virtue", following the example of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Things came to a head when nine Chinese citizens, six of them women working in a massage parlour, were abducted last month. They were released a day later after diplomatic intervention.
As the Lal Masjid standoff began to take new twists and turns with each passing day, many critics viewed it as a stage-managed affair.
"There is a pervasive feeling in Islamabad that the chief cleric and his brother played into the hands of intelligence agencies. The tragedy is that whoever planned it failed to see that so many lives would be lost, and the people living in the G-6 area in Islamabad would become prisoners in their own homes," an Islamabad-based journalist said, requesting anonymity.
The timing of the military operation itself also raises doubts about the real motives of Pakistan's military government.
According to Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri, news editor at Geo TV, the Lal Masjid standoff was a "masterpiece of intelligence agencies" and an "eyewash" to deflect attention from issues of national importance, especially the Supreme Court hearing of the petition of Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, whom Musharraf summarily suspended as chief justice.
Mekhri's views were endorsed by Hamid Mir, senior political analyst at the same TV channel. "Musharraf wanted to diffuse the multi-parties conference in London [a meeting of dozens of Pakistani politicians]. Before that he was using Lal Mosque to distract [from] the judicial crisis."
According to Mir, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, head of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, who was sent to negotiate with the mosque administration, and who was about to resolve the issue in April, was "asked by someone very important to delay it".
However, Mehkri believes there could be a longer-term scheme on the part of the Musharraf government in all this. "This could be a motive to seek US blessings for President Musharraf to remain in uniform."
In a statement the chairman of the Communist Party of Pakistan, Jameel Ahmad Malik, said: "The religious fundamentalist forces in Pakistan are the brainchild of the ISI [Inter Services Intelligence], the military intelligences and American imperialism."
The reference was to Pakistan-based mujahideen or Islamist militants who successfully fought the Soviets in Afghanistan through the 1980s with support from Washington.
After the Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, Pakistan is also known to have diverted the mujahideen to Kashmir to help with its protracted dispute with India over possession of the Muslim-majority territory of Kashmir.
Opposition parties in Pakistan have been accusing Musharraf of secretly encouraging Islamist radicalism to counter to growing demands by secular political groups for restoration of the democratic process and the calling of elections.
Pakistan's iron fist is to the US's liking
By Syed Saleem Shahzad
KARACHI - A last-minute intervention by Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf ended nine hours of negotiations seeking a peaceful end to the siege of the radical Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad.
Apparently saying he was "heavily under duress from his allies", the president in the early hours of Tuesday instead ordered in the military to end the seven-day saga. Unconfirmed reports even say that Musharraf personally led the assault, along with Corps
Commander Rawalpindi Lieutenant-General Tariq Majid. The media were barred from the mosque's immediate vicinity.
Asia Times Online contacts believe that Musharraf was referring to Washington, which has in the past few months stepped up pressure on its partner in the "war on terror" to take action against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and foreign militants inside Pakistan.
When the siege of Lal Masjid began a week ago, the administration of US President George W Bush was fulsome in its praise that something was being done, as the mosque is a known supporter of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and even a safe haven for militants.
According to the contacts, Musharraf said, "They want targets in Operation Silence," referring to the code name for Tuesday's final assault on the mosque. That is, the militants should be arrested or killed.
On Monday, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, commenting on terror, said, "We believe Pakistan is a good ally, a good friend in fighting terror. They have an issue there with violent extremism. It's an issue that affects the Pakistani people as well as others in the region and the US."
By Tuesday afternoon, Pakistani forces were in the final stages of clearing the mosque. They encountered fierce resistance, but the mosque itself was said to be secure. There was still resistance from fighters holed up in a nearby women's seminary associated with the mosque. Pakistani media reported that at least 40 fighters and three soldiers had been killed.
The fate of Abdul Rasheed Ghazi is not known. He and his brother Abdul Aziz run the mosque. Ghazi was quoted on Geo TV as saying his mother had been wounded by gunfire. "The government is using full force. This is naked aggression. My martyrdom is certain now," the television station quoted him as saying. Aziz was captured on Wednesday while trying to leave the mosque disguised as a women in a full-length veil.
At 5am, Ghazi sent text messages to journalists, including this one, saying, "My death is certain." One of the ideologues of the mosque, Ume Hassan, Aziz' wife, was arrested with her daughter Asma and 30 hardcore members of the Women's Brigade of Lal Masjid.
The storming of the mosque is the first seizure of Taliban assets in Pakistan and is certain to have a strong ripple effect throughout the country as the mosque has strong links with jihadis and the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan.
Although the offensive in Pakistan's federal capital - which has captured international headlines - is finally playing out, one question remains. Who is the real director of the drama? Observers and analysts believe there might be several - one running the show separately in Lal Masjid, and others pulling strings from the outside. If so, there can be no clean, simple end to the saga.
The next episode has already begun in Batkhaila, North West Frontier Province, where the pro-Taliban Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Moham has clashed with the military and seized all highways in the area, including on the Silk Road leading to China.
It is only a matter of time before the US-led "war on terror" formally crosses the Pakistani border.
When the talking stopped
Lengthy talks before the military assault led to an agreement - at about 2am - on a safe passage for Ghazi. This was couched in terms of an "honorable arrest" - brief protective custody.
The high-profile negotiating team included the Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Rafi Usmani; Minister of Religious Affairs Ejaz ul-Haq; and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a former premier and president of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League.
At this point, Ghazi said he would consult with his colleagues, and Hussain went off to confer with Musharraf for final approval of the agreement. Musharraf had earlier approved safe passage as an option.
When the two sides communicated again - via loudspeakers and mobile telephones - Ghazi apparently then wanted to know what would happen to the "foreign militants" inside the mosque. And crucially, Musharraf had changed almost all of the agreements in the draft. The authorities then told members of the negotiating team to return to their hotels, and at 4:30am 111 Brigade of the 10th Corps moved into action.
"Yes, the talks were successful. The draft was written. Abdul Rasheed Ghazi was to be allowed a safe passage, but then the draft was sent to the president and he amended it. Things were back to Square 1 and the talks failed," a dejected Grand Mufti Usmani told Asia Times Online by telephone. He rarely leaves his seminary in Karachi, but was specially invited to Islamabad by the government for the talks.
Ul-Haq also confirmed that Ghazi was to be given a safe passage, but then had suddenly expressed concern for "foreign militants" and the situation changed. Asia Times Online talked to several members of the negotiating team but they said Ghazi never specifically mentioned "foreign militants". "He always asked for guarantees for him as well as for those who were with him inside, but he never mentioned 'foreign militants'," said Maulana Hanif Jalandari, the secretary general of the Federal Board of Islamic Seminaries.
Asia Times Online contacts claim that the situation was complicated by the sudden appearance of a delegation of members of Parliament belonging to the government's coalition partners, the Muttahida Quami Movement. They are believed to have met with a US official at his official residence, after which the situation changed within an hour.
The end of a long saga
Lal Masjid leaped into prominence in 2004 when the prayer leader, Aziz, Ghazi's brother, issued a fatwa (religious decree) that any Pakistani soldiers killed in the tribal area of South Waziristan should not be entitled to Muslim funeral prayers or be buried in Muslim graveyards.
The army was at the time engaged in an offensive against al-Qaeda and foreign militants in the area.
The controversial decree was then signed by 500 Muslim scholars and it ignited serious discontent in the army, eventually prompting Pakistan to pull out from South Waziristan and North Waziristan after striking peace deals with the Pakistani Taliban.
Later, the authorities claimed that a link between the Lal Masjid brothers and al-Qaeda had been exposed when Ghazi's car - laden with arms and ammunition - was recovered from a person named Usman.
The religious community intervened and asked for evidence. Religious Affairs Minister ul-Haq was tasked with mediating and ensuring an impartial investigation by Military Intelligence. Ghazi spent a few weeks in custody, but no direct connections with terror were established, except that he knows all the main players, including Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar, who have corresponded with him.
After the London transit bombings in July 2005, when reports indicated that some of the perpetrators had visited Lal Masjid, it again came under official scrutiny, but no action was taken. Soon after, the brothers were declared wanted criminals, but no attempt was made to arrest them.
In January, the authorities started a program to demolish mosques built on unauthorized land. Notice was served on Lal Masjid for illegal encroachment on government land by building Jamia Hafsa, a large women's madrassa (seminary) next to the mosque.
Hundreds of girls occupied a nearby public library in protest and the conflict escalated when female vigilantes abducted alleged prostitutes and closed down video shops, at the same time demanding the implementation of sharia law in Islamabad. Lal Masjid was declared a countrywide movement. The authorities backed off and no action was taken against the mosque.
Now they have finally moved, and there will surely be serious consequences, given the mosque's iconic status among jihadis.
Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online's Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at [email protected].
i dont understand this entire concept of negotiations. This crazy ghazi dude had killed pakistani's and was trying to over through the government. There cannot be any negotiations with these crazy talibs for them this is a zero sum game its either there way or death. So will every won please peddling this negotiations bull crap because this is utterly idiotic.
My only answer to your post would be that negotiations have meant that there are only 10 women and children martyred in the battle rather than 300-500. People may be unreasonable, but in a seat of responsibility,you have to think with your mind rather than the Heart. If negotiations had succeeded, only the militants might have been arrested and the loss of life would have been 10-20 rather than 100. Dont you think it would have been a much better situation? I still think the Government played their hand with great wisdom and patience and consequently kept the loss of life to the minimum. However, please take a moment and think of the father/Mother, whose son/daughter. through no fault of their own died in this conflict. Can you honestly put yourself in the shoes of that father/mother and repeat your statement. I think even one life lost unnecessarily is a loss too much to bear.
kidwaibhai... Idont understand this entire concept of negotiations. This crazy ghazi dude had killed pakistani's and was trying to over through the government. There cannot be any negotiations with these crazy talibs for them this is a zero sum game its either there way or death. So will every won please peddling this negotiations bull crap because this is utterly idiotic.
The actual militant mullah survives with the help of the military.
Ul Haq and Aziz with there crocodile tears..please spare us your bullsh*t
Nice way to negotiate a peaceful ending by trying to humiliate the guy right from the start,where these the worlds most pathetic negotiation team or did they want a violent end?
Planned and executed by mushy and the boys,the mullahs fell for it.
Let me guess his a conspiracy nut
Beijing keeps Islamabad honest
By Tarique Niazi
China's relations with Pakistan, which are close and warm as never before, have come under severe strain lately from the growing militancy in Pakistan. The Pakistani military's storming last week of the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) has been an important indicator of the tenor of the relationship.
The most recent source of stress is the July 8 execution-style killing of three Chinese nationals who owned a small business in a town near Peshawar in North-West Frontier Province.
The killings were widely seen as revenge for the government's crackdown on religious militants holed up in the Red Mosque in Islamabad. On June 23, these militants and students from a madrassa (seminary) associated with the mosque abducted seven Chinese nationals, six of them women, who worked at a massage parlor in Islamabad.
They believed the parlor was a front for prostitution, which they vowed to eliminate as part of their anti-vice campaign. Outraged by the kidnapping, the Chinese government made a visible departure from its usual diplomatic courtesies to publicly demand that Pakistan ensure the safety of its citizens. Hours after the demand, all abductees were freed unharmed.
After the latest slayings, Beijing again went public with its condemnation of the "violent attack". Its ambassador to Islamabad, Luo Zhaohui, told Pakistan in a public statement to investigate the attack, "round up the culprits, properly handle the follow-up issues, and take effective measures to protect the Chinese in Pakistan". In a show of further concern, Zhaohui rushed his deputy chief of mission to lead a team of diplomats to Peshawar to "deal with the issue". President General Pervez Musharraf's order to storm the mosque was in part Pakistan's response to China's pressure.
Chinese diplomats in Pakistan do not characteristically voice their concern in public, even for their own citizens' safety. They have preferred to limit their public utterances to the expression of "full confidence" in Pakistani authorities and reserve plain talking for private sessions.
It is, therefore, ironic for observers to see Beijing get tough with Pakistan, given a relationship that in Chinese President Hu Jintao's words is "sweeter than honey". The recent shift in Chinese posture is, nevertheless, the result of gathering threats to Chinese nationals, who are often employed in remote and troubled parts of the country, especially in Balochistan province and northwestern Pakistan.
Musharraf is often characterized as Washington's "man in Pakistan". But Islamabad's recent actions reveal more of a Chinese hand behind the scenes.
China in Pakistan
About 8,500 Chinese work in Pakistan, almost three times the number of Americans. Of these, 3,500 are engineers and technicians assigned to a variety of Sino-Pakistani projects. The remaining 5,000 are engaged in private businesses.
China's investment in Pakistan has jumped to an all-time high of US$4 billion. Its 60 companies make up 12% of the 500 foreign firms operating in Pakistan. The Chinese presence has grown dramatically since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which brought Beijing and Islamabad together to build a naval-cum-commercial port at Gwadar, a coastal town in Balochistan.
This port alone, where construction began in 2002, employs 500 Chinese engineers and technicians. This growing Chinese presence forces Beijing to go beyond diplomatic niceties to protect its human and non-human interests in Pakistan.
And Pakistani authorities spare little effort to safeguard China's interests. Soon after the abduction of the seven Chinese on June 23, Islamabad laid siege to the Red Mosque, whose radical clerics are believed to have inspired the incident.
On July 2, the government ordered 15,000 troops around the mosque compound to flush out militants. On July 4, it arrested the leader of the militants, Maulana Abdul Aziz, who, in a strange twist, is believed to have close relations with Pakistani intelligence agencies.
After apprehending the leader, government troops moved to choking off the militants' supplies of food, water and power. But as soon as word of the revenge killing of three Chinese on July 8 reached Islamabad, it created a "perfect storm" for Musharraf. Embarrassed and enraged, he reversed the troops' strategy and ordered them, on July 10, to mount an all-out assault at the mosque, in which Aziz' brother and deputy, Abdul Rasheed Ghazi, together with scores others, was killed.
This is not the first time that Musharraf has done Beijing's bidding. He has hunted China's foes, especially members of the Uighur minority and their sympathizers among Uzbeks and Tajiks. On October 2, 2004, his troops killed Beijing's "Osama bin Laden", the leader of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement of Xinjiang, Hasan Mahsum. Xinjiang is China's only Muslim-majority autonomous region.
Mahsum had taken refuge in South Waziristan, one of Pakistan's six Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA), where the Taliban have established the "Islamic Emirate of Waziristan". Pakistan has, however, economic and strategic interests in securing Xinjiang, which borders its northwestern edge, including the northernmost tip of the FATA.
Xinjiang is linked with Pakistan through the legendary Karakoram Highway, which runs along the old Silk Road. Beijing is investing about $88 billion in the development of western China, including the immense untapped natural-gas and oil resources of Xinjiang. Pakistan is expanding the highway with about $1.66 billion to make it traffic-worthy for heavy freight of energy and trade goods.
Seven days after Mahsum was killed, militants kidnapped two Chinese engineers on October 9, 2004, in South Waziristan, which is endowed with the rare natural wealth of uranium that serves as fuel for nuclear power generation. One of them was killed in a botched rescue attempt and the other seriously wounded.
Pakistan has since ordered 80,000 troops into its tribal belt and along the 2,640-kilometer Durand Line that divides Afghanistan and Pakistan. This year, Musharraf ordered a deadly military attack against 300 Uzbek and Uighur militants in South Waziristan, who were suspected of carrying out subversion in Xinjiang. Only a handful of them survived by relocating to neighboring North Waziristan, where they have allied themselves with the Taliban to fight Western troops across the border in Afghanistan.
The United States, meanwhile, has paid the Musharraf government $1 billion a year for military operations against the Taliban, especially in North and South Waziristan and Bajaur Agency, where bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are suspected to be hiding. Musharraf kept the money and practically ceded the area to the Taliban after a string of agreements.
Like the northwest, southwestern Pakistan is also becoming inhospitable for the Chinese. On May 3, 2004, three Chinese engineers were killed in Gwadar, where China and Pakistan are jointly investing $1.16 billion in building the port.
Pakistan blamed the killing on a shadowy armed group, the Balochistan Liberation Army, which is fighting for autonomy and control over the region's natural resources and strategic coast. Musharraf has since ordered almost one-third of the Pakistan Army to put down the resistance. Three years into the military operation, Balochistan is still far from being safe for Chinese nationals. As recently as February 15, 2006, unidentified gunmen killed three Chinese workers in Hub, an industrial town in Balochistan.
So despite Pakistan's best efforts, militants continue to target the Chinese. Yet the Sino-Pakistani friendship is too solid for militants' attacks, however regrettable, to sour it. Instead, relations have rapidly grown from the monolithic defense sector into broad-based economic, energy, trade and investment cooperation.
Since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US, a major thrust has been made toward promoting educational, cultural, language, travel and tourism cooperation between China and Pakistan. After an unprecedented free-trade agreement that went into effect this year, Sino-Pakistani trade is projected to grow to $15 billion a year, which would put it just behind the current India-US trade of $20 billion. In the changing regional situation since September 11, China needs Pakistan as much as Pakistan previously needed China.
Although the United States is concerned about the resurgent militancy in the region, its key focus remains on defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan and dismantling their operational bases in northwestern and southwestern Pakistan.
Islamabad, however, has a different view of the Taliban, which it views as a potential government-in-waiting for Afghanistan. Such a Taliban government could help balance Indian influence in Afghanistan, which has grown since the US invasion.
To complicate the situation further, India has built its first ever foreign military base, in Tajikistan, which makes both Beijing and Islamabad uneasy. Nor does China welcome the US presence in Afghanistan and its key military base at Bagram near Kabul. Sino-US interests may converge around counter-terrorism, but their strategic objectives in the region do not significantly overlap.
Pakistan is more watchful of the strategic aims of regional powers than counter-terrorism. The Lal Masjid incident, however, has increased the threat of reactive terror in northwestern Pakistan, where an overwhelming majority of students are Pashtuns, the Taliban's ethnic community.
On Saturday, 40 people were killed, including 14 soldiers, in suicide bombings in the northwestern region of Swat and Dera Ismail Khan. Moreover, the crackdown on the Red Mosque, despite widespread public support, is being widely seen as spectacular failure because of massive casualties that were neither necessary nor justified.
US pressure on Pakistan to clear the region of the Taliban and al-Qaeda has forced Pakistan into an ever tighter embrace of China. Musharraf's action against the Lal Masjid, a potent symbol of this strategic Sino-Pakistani alignment, also sent a blood-soaked message to religious militants that Chinese interests will remain off-limits. Musharraf is not apologetic about defending Chinese interests in Pakistan and punishing those who dared to harm them.
Tarique Niazi is an environmental sociologist at the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire ([email protected]) and a contributor to Foreign Policy in Focus.
(Posted with permission from Foreign Policy in Focus)
Last edited by KashifAsrar; 07-18-2007 at 10:57 AM.
hmm hunting down Muslim extremisim is ok if its done by Pakistan. I guess only when India does it they are called freedom fighters and Jihad and so on.
Xinjiang is NOT China's only Muslim-majority autonomous region.
Check out Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Hui has been the biggest minority in China with a population over 10 mln, in comparison with Vighor's 8.82mln, and they're all Muslim. the Chinese Muslim are very friendly and peaceable on the whole.
I'm not sure if you're refering to Vighor riots occurred in 1989 and 1997. Facts of them is someone behind radical Vighor youth and they killed random under the name of Muslim. ETIM has been counted into the terrorist organization list by the US. and I do agree that without Pakistan's help China can not get rid of terrorists' attacks, neither does US.
It's easy and cheap to confuse facts with biasses.
Vighor doesn't represent the entire Muslim world, let alone radical Vighors who're in small minority among Vighor ethnic group, whereas terrorist is a big threat to every nation in the world, no matter what ethnicity or religions they're of. but an obvious mix-up may always suit you well that when US is hunting for al-Qaeda members you call them terrorists, yet when same thing happens in China you call them Muslim. isn't that interesting?
And, if you're refering to independent movements inspired by the Pan-Islamic idea (Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani, around 1857), you probably need to worry about India as well.
There's a difference between an extremist and a freedom fighter, we're dealing with AQ supported taliban cells whereas Kashmiri's are fighting for freedom. Our support is restricted to that area only, we've always condemned terrorist attacks in other parts of your country.
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