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China feels awkward over Mumbai terror attack: official

PTI Beijing | Updated on April 16, 2015

China feels “awkward” about the 2008 Mumbai terror attack carried out by Pakistani militants and wants to address India’s concerns over terrorism emanating from Pakistan in a more “constructive way”, a Chinese official said in a rare criticism of the all-weather ally.

“China also feels quite awkward. It does not mean China is sympathising with terrorist attacks. It is awkward diplomatically. It needs to handle this ticklish issue in a more diplomatic way,” Hu Shisheng, Director of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a Chinese foreign ministry strategic think-tank told Indian media here.

He was responding to questions on China’s double standards over Pakistani involvement in terrorism, especially regarding the recent release of the Lashkar-e-Taiba operative Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, a prime accused in the case.

“Chinese diplomats are getting more mature. The challenge is non interference,” he said, adding that a way out has to be found.

“India’s concerns over terrorism will be addressed in a more constructive way,” Hu said, adding China, too, suffered a lot due to terrorism, referring to militancy in Xinjiang which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Since last year, China has stepped up its anti-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan, he said, adding that Pakistan Army’s crackdown in its own tribal region yielded positive results.

“We really suffered a lot, though we are good friends,” he said, adding that Pakistan too suffered due to terrorism.

China is also pushing Pakistan to intensify its crackdown on terrorists as security is key to the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor connecting Xinjiang with Gwadar port. It runs through the PoK.

China cannot afford the Corridor to be a failure because of the security risks, he said, adding that the Nawaz Sharif government also feels the same.

Pakistan has set up a Special Security division for the protection of the Corridor with 12,000 security personnel, he said.

Published on April 16, 2015

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