Concerned over infiltration of Uygur militants with links to al Qaeda into its restive Xinjiang province, China on Thursday asked Pakistan to protect its nationals working in that country and offered to enhance cooperation in combating terrorism.
China's concerns over infiltration as well as safety of its nationals working in Pakistan topped the agenda for visiting Pakistan army chief Gen Raheel Sharif who is here on his maiden official visit.
Gen Sharif on Thursday met China's top interior security official Meng Jianzhu, who directly overseas the security operations in the troubled Muslim dominated Xinjiang province, bordering Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and rest of the country.
The meeting came a day after Sharif's talks with vice-chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong, the highest military official, where anti-terror cooperation was highlighted.
Gen Sharif told Fan that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement, an al-Qaeda backed militant outfit which has staged major violent attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of China, is a common enemy of the two countries and Pakistan will spare no efforts to crack down on it.
Sharif's visit comes in the immediate backdrop of recent multiple bomb attacks in Xinjiang's provincial capital Urumqi in which 43 people were killed 94 injured.
In his meeting with Sharif, Meng, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China, also pledged to strengthen cooperation against terrorism and protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in Pakistan.
State councilor and minister of public security Guo Shengkun also attended the meeting. Sharif today also called on Chinese defence minister Chang Wanquan.
Hailing the China-Pak cooperation between the law-enforcement agencies, Meng said: "China is willing to enhance cooperation with Pakistan in combating terrorism to protect the security of Chinese personnel and institutions in Pakistan and maintain national and regional security and stability."
Sharif promised a continued crackdown on terrorism in Pakistan and protection for the Chinese personnel and institutions engaged in building the Pakistan-China economic corridor, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The corridor is being built through PoK.
Chang said Chinese military is willing to deepen practical cooperation with the Pakistani army so as to safeguard China-Pakistan exchanges and cooperation in various fields.