XIAN, Dec 22: President Gen Pervez Musharraf on Saturday urged Chinese Muslims to be “very patriotic” and work for the betterment of their country.

“Islam is a religion of peace and we don’t believe in any violence and therefore you being a part of China have to be very patriotic and for the good of China, all Muslims in China (should) work for the good of China”, he said, talking to the Imam of the Grand Mosque here.

A very warm welcome was accorded to President Musharraf and Begum Sehba Musharraf on their arrival here from Beijing.

The president was received at the airport by the vice-governor of the Shaanxi province, Jia Zhibang, Xian Mayor Feng Xuchu and other senior officials of the foreign ministry.

Before his departure from Beijing, Gen Musharraf held a meeting with heads of Chinese petroleum companies.

The visit to Xian is the second leg of his five-day official visit to China aimed at cementing ties with Pakistan’s closest ally.

Gen Musharraf on Friday took pains to back a Chinese campaign against Muslim separatists in its far western region of Xinjiang during a meeting with the Chinese parliamentary chief, Li Peng.

“Pakistan will make full efforts to support China to fight against East Turkestan terrorism forces”, state television quoted Gen Musharraf as saying, using the name of the country that Xinjiang separatists wanted to create.—AFP/APP

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