China asks Pakistan to hand over 20 hiding insurgents
May 17, 2007 - 3:38:32 PM

Islamabad, May 17 - The Chinese government has asked Pakistan to hand over more than 20 anti-China insurgents hiding in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, foreign ministry sources said.

The Chinese authorities have claimed that more than 20 activists of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement -, an Islamist militant outfit fighting for an independent East Turkestan in China's Xinjiang province, were hiding in the tribal areas.

Islamabad should arrest and hand over the militants, Daily Times said quoting unnamed sources in the Pakistani foreign office.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam, however, refused to confirm the report.

She said she was not aware of any Chinese appeal and pointed out that Pakistan had been cooperating with more than 150 countries, including China, to eliminate terrorism.

According to Western think tanks and media reports, the Chinese have for long noted and resented their nationals - Uighour tribals from the Xinjiang province - being trained in Islamic seminaries in Pakistan and many of them joining the Taliban forces in Afghanistan along with Chechens, Uzbeks and Arabs of various nationalities.

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