Interior minister Rehman Malik says that Islamic group ETIM has 'formed a syndicate' with Taliban in the Pak-Afghan region.—APP/File

BEIJING Pakistan and China are cooperating to stamp out violent groups that span their border, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday, claiming that militants in the mountainous frontier had formed a 'syndicate.'

Mr Malik was speaking in Beijing, where he has been discussing closer cooperation with senior Chinese officials, who say their country's northwest Xinjiang region is menaced by Uighur separatists who have links in Central Asia and the borderlands of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The minister told Reuters that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group Beijing has accused of orchestrating violent attacks, had 'formed a syndicate' with Taliban and other militant groups in the mountainous regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan has handed Chinese nationals accused of insurgent activity back to China and would do so again, he added.

'Obviously, in all our actions we are not sparing them. We are taking action,' he said of ETIM. 'Whoever is arrested...that militant shall be handed back to China without any reservations.'

China has provided intelligence and supplies for Pakistani police, he said. Chinese-backed infrastructure projects in Pakistan have gone ahead despite kidnappings and attacks aimed at Chinese nationals.

'Despite a lot of threats, China has not pulled out their projects,' said Mr Malik. 'Rather they have increased their projects. This shows the commitment of China with Pakistan.'—Reuters

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