Tuesday, August 09, 2011

China Now Wants a Military Presence in Pakistan Tribal Areas

In the wake of two terrorist bombings in Xinjiang province, China wants to hunt down Uyghur militants it claims are being trained in Pakistan's ungovernable tribal areas.

Since the blasts, which killed 18, Chinese officials have publicly claimed for the first time in recent years that the attackers were trained in explosives in camps run by the al-Qaeda-linked East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

Though the ETIM network on the AfPak border was significantly weakened in recent years in the wake of the deaths of many of its top leaders in United States drone attacks, hardcore Uyghur

militants are still shuttling between China and Pakistan since Xinjiang province shares a border with Pakistan.

The ETIM, which is run by natives of Xinjiang province, a Muslim-dominated region three times the size of France, is fighting against the settlement of China's majority Han ethnic group in the western province, describing its struggle as a freedom movement. 

In neighbouring, dysfunctional Afghanistan, more than a year after general elections there is still a dispute over who is legally entitled to sit in parliament.   A special tribunal created by Hamid Karzai has decided a quarter of the legislators should be removed.   Those opposed to Karzai claim the tribunal is illegal.   Is it any wonder the Taliban are having a field day?

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