On Wednesday, As Home Minister Rajnath Singh was speaking at Saarc conference in Islamabad, giving reference of the geopolitical recitation in China’s Xinjiang province.
Afghanistan’s Chief of General Staff General Qadam Shah Shahim, China’s Chief of Joint Staff General Fang Fenghui, Tajikistan’s Chief of General Staff Major General Emomali Sobirzoda and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif met in Urumqi, Xinjiang to formally reveal their counter-terrorism alliance — Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism in Counter Terrorism (QCCM).
All parties agreed that terrorism and radicalism brings serious threat to the region and guarantee to share intelligence, conduct joint training, enhance counter-terrorism capabilities and counter-terrorism exercises for its armed forces.
“China will not help to expand regional counter-terrorism cooperation, maintain regional security and stability, and promote common prosperity and development of the four countries,” declared General Fenghui, according to a statement released by the state-run China Military Online.
Symbolism and the Central Asian combat zone
China believes that Urumqi in Xinjiang to start a regional counter-terrorism initiative is hardly a accident. Islamic zeal in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Urumqi attack happened in 2014, was most recent attack. The East Turkestan Independence Movement (ETIM) group, linked to Al-Qaeda and Taliban, has claimed numerous terror attacks in Xinjiang. The start of regional counter-terrorism alliance in Urumqi was an obvious declaration of Beijing’s commitment to defend its chaotic north western region.
Beijing has managed to suppress the Islamic revolution in its restless Uyghur dominated Xinjiang area with the help of Central Asian client states. China economic and military cooperation with the Central Asian nations, especially Tajikistan is in fear that political instability and Islamic extremism in the region would spill over in Xinjiang.
Increasing its border-security cooperation with Beijing and Moscow in recent years, Dushanbev the chief trouble maker in Central Asian countries has dynamically compressed the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).
Kunduz region in northern Afghanistan which borders Tajikistan has witnessed a abrupt growth in violence. Northern Afghanistan, across Amu Darya, has also become a safe haven for Taliban, ETIM and IMU militants. The Afghan security forces and the Taliban militants are fighting intensively in northern and north eastern Afghan provinces bordering Xinjiang.
US combined with Nato forces in Afghanistan for active combat, whereas Kabul has been downward in violent gulf. Taliban has grown its strength and set brutal attack against security forces and civilians in Afghanistan. According the report state-run Voice of America, Afghanistan has surrender nearly five percent of its territory to the Taliban.
These movements only bring fear to china not cannot afford any deviation on the ground of multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC) project. It will connect Gwadar port in Pakistan, passing through occupied Kashmir, to Xinjiang, rolls out.
Is China serious about regional security?
China has initially keeping large attention on terrorism yet it’s unable to add-up with respect to South Asia. Pakistan has continuous use of Islamic terrorism especially against India and Afghanistan. It has never stop to help its all-weather friend.
Pakistan maintain good relation with United States West is driving Islamabad into Beijing’s arms. While The US has refused to pay $300 million, Islamabad collect fund form union Support to Pakistan due its covert support to the Haqqani Network and Afghan Taliban.
Pakistan was one of the epicenters of Islamic terrorism in the region for long time. The killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, 26/11 Mumbai attack, Pathankot air base attack, supporting Afghan Taliban, 2007 Lal Masjid siege that revealed Uyghur militants’ presence in Pakistan’s capital — everything points to Islamabad’s unwillingness to repair ways. Even after 2014 dedly attack in Peshawar army school UN elected terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed operates freely in Pakistan.
Pakistan and Afghanistan was former supporter to Afghan Taliban, Tajikistan is nothing more than China’s B-team. China is able to put pressure on Pakistan to act against Uyghur militants from tribal safe havens. But, Professor V Suryanarayan, former member of India’s National Security Advisory Board, points out “Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has domestic compulsions…expecting Pakistan to act against Islamic extremism is like asking for the impossible.”
If Beijing was really serious about security and stability in South Asia, it would not have excluded India.