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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Is Beijing losing patience with Pakistan?

China's recent complaint that the unrest in Xinjiang was perpetrated by terrorists trained in Pakistan underscores the public manifestation of a nightmare whose origins go back to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, more than 20 years ago.

At the time, Uighur nationalists trained in Pakistan and funded by the United States' Central Intelligence Agency using Saudi money were part of the mujahideen resistance that ultimately won in the vital landlocked nation straddling Central and South Asia.

Extremism has been on the rise in central Asia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, two years after the Russian army was forced out of Afghanistan. Ever since then, the key Central Asian states that gained independence as a result have witnessed a revival of their Islamic roots.

It is little wonder then that Xinjiang, home to the Uighurs, is also affected. And it doesn't help Beijing that these restless souls, mostly all Muslim, can draw upon a Uighur diaspora outside China.



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