Pakistan Islamists in a deal with China communists : a sign of the times?

February 19, 2009

A reader has pointed to an agreement that Pakistan’s Jamaat-i-Islami, the main Islamist political group, signed with the Chinese communist party during its trip to Beijing a few days ago.

The two sides, according to reports in the domestic and foreign media, agreed to collaborate in the fields of justice, development, security and solidarity.

They also promised not to get involved in each other’s internal affairs which according to the report on CBS News was effectively an undertaking that Pakistan’s Islamists will stay away from activities of separatist Muslims in China’s northern Xinjiang region.

While China’s concerns about the Islamist fervour sweeping northwest Pakistan spilling over into Xinjiang have been known before, it does seem a bit unusual for the communist party to strike a deal with a religion-based foreign political party.

Or is this the new reality and which China has been quick to realise?

The CBS  story quotes an official from a European NATO member country as saying that the agreement “forces us to think the Chinese are much more sophisticated than what we know”.

“We are still not absolutely certain how far to go in negotiating with people like the Taliban, and China may already be moving in that direction.”

It may not be related to that agreement, but only last Saturday Taliban militants in Pakistan’s troubled Swat Valley freed a Chinese engineer kidnapped five months ago. Soon after, the provincial government and Islamists reached an agreement to allow Islamic law in the valley to stem a Taliban uprising.

The release of the engineer and the deal with the communist party comes just as President Asif Ali Zardari heads to China on Friday, his second trip to the country in less than five months.

Zardari’s trip is largely economic but assuaging Chinese concerns over an Islamist resurgence will further build ties between the all-weather friends. It may also perhaps strengthen Zardari’s case for financial assistance at a time of comtinuing turmoil.      

Beijing had rebuffed Pakistan’s request for concessional loans in October, forcing it to turn to the International Monetary Fund for a $7.6 billion loan to stave off a balance of payments crisis.

[Photos of a peace march in Pakistan's Swat region and Chinese police in Xinjiang]

Comments

Umair:
@Personally I think the US Army is making mistakes in Afghanistan. While Kyrgyz airbase has closed down, supply routes in Pakistan are vulnerable than ever before, they have ordered another 17000 troops into Afghanistan. The big question is, how will US troops sustain themselves in Afghanistan? The logistics will include supplies of fuel, food and ammunition for troops. Afghanistan is a landlocked country, it does not have a port. Airlift operations will be very expensive, besides they can only provide limited supplies. Moreover, how will they fly in? from where? will Iran give them access?
–Supply route is the major issue for USA and that;s where US needed Pak help. How about Gawdar port in Baluchistan? For whatever reasons US is not getting Pak help. One reason could be the one offered by you that ” Pakistan is playing its own game on its own terms.” and keeping the militants alive. The operation in Afghanistan is not working out well. IF USA returns defeated, the vacuum there and the militants will gain power and this time you cannot request them to leave from Pakistan nor can you flush them—such a neagtive strategy faiked you earlier (Taliban) and will add to your misery. As Mauryan said do not fool yourself that your army scored a victory over Soviets.
@Pakistan Army is playing it much smarter, if we keep a lid on things in FATA region everything will be fine.—–Only you can live in this denial but is sad since you know the history, abilities and resources of Pakistan. USA and China cannot help you forever. You cannot get help by putting NUKES to your head and say I am going to blow everyone up. The smart move is longterm startgey and you do not have-Pakistan has no political thinker—only generals. People might be overreacting but the fact is Pakistan is in deep trouble. If US gives up on you you are done and roasted. They know plan B. They are your teachers.
Wish you guys start a ling term strategy and quit terrorism as policy tool and industry. None of What you said makes SWATIS feel comfortable if they Want Taliban to go unless Taliban is informally accepted as rule makers.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Most of the posts on this topic by Indians have nothing to do with the topic.

The Jamaat-e-Islami is a “religio-political” party in Pakistan. They are no terrorists. They are also politically foolish and engage in constant protests all the time. Their decision to boycott the 2008 elections has put them in political oblivion, and signing deals like the one with China, gets back favorable coverage and re-entry into political arena.

 

Rajeev wrote:
People might be overreacting but the fact is Pakistan is in deep trouble. If US gives up on you you are done and roasted. They know plan B.”

You must be sure of one thing, Pakistan is playing its own game and its a fact.
This is indicative of the fact that Pakistan today is a nuclear power and much stronger country. We will do whatever is in the best interest. Yes the US has Plan B 3000 marines stationed in Afghanistan and an aircraft carrier off the Pakistani coast. The moment anything goes wrong, they will move in to capture Pakistani nukes. But there is a problem:
No one from CIA, MOSSADIsraelis or anyone in the world know where has Pakistan stored its nukes. Any stupid misadventure and Pakistan could ready its ballistic missiles armed with nuclear warheads and launch them “with-in minutes” as stated by Gen. Kayani after Mumbai attacks when Inida talked of surgical strikes against Pakistan. The US has a PlaN B but not the balls to execute that plan.
Pakistan will do whatever is in its best national interests.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Ali Wrote:
“The Jamaat-e-Islami is a “religio-political” party in Pakistan. They are no terrorists.”

All of your Islamist names sound same and gives impression of a terrorist group. Every major terrorist activity has got some body with the name “Mohammad”. Its obvious that world will start thinking about who these people are, what is their religion and why there is a “Mohammad” involved in terrorist activities. Moreover Terrorist muslims and Non terrorist muslims look same, think same and want to do same. Only difference is Some terrorist pick up AK-47 while others pick up the keyboard and start posting on reuters. ;-)

I dont want to say every muslims is a terrorist but question is “Is every terrorist a Muslim ?”

Good moderate muslims need to prove their innocence to world, otherwise people will count you in same flock.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

Umair wrote:
“You must be sure of one thing, Pakistan is playing its own game and its a fact.
This is indicative of the fact that Pakistan today is a nuclear power and much stronger country. We will do whatever is in the best interest.”

If you think playing double game with super powers and supporting terrorism is in your best interest, then soon you will be history, Amen. We have enough of this “Nuke song” now, you don’t have to sing it again and again. Everybody has nuclear weapons these days, it seems like only pakistanis are proud of it. Do you recite Atomic weight of Uranium 235 with your 5 times of Namaz ;-)

Why don’t you post in the name of “NUCLEAR UMAIR” or “NUMAIR”

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@Punjabiyaar

How many folk named Mohammed are part of the Tamil Tigers?

How many folk named Mohammed were involved in mass murder of Muslims in Samjhauta Express?

 

Ali Wrote:
“How many folk named Mohammed are part of the Tamil Tigers?

How many folk named Mohammed were involved in mass murder of Muslims in Samjhauta Express?”

Ali, tamil tigers are not attacking World trade centers and they dont bomb UK and spanish subways either. Tamils are fighting their own war within a specific country for their rights. While radical muslims are fighting against every non-muslim alive or dead. They don’t spare even dead statues of buddha and demolish that. Even if tamils are a terrorist group, this does not Justify extreme islamic terrorism.

May be Samjhota express bombing did not involved any “Mohammed” but I am sure it killed many “Mohammeds”, This is the only incident you could count, Relax I know you will shout about Kashmir and Gujrat now. Do you know what was the Sabarmati express incident ?

Moreover the culprits of Samjota express are in jail while Talibani are on loose and infact doing a “Peace deal” with pakistan. Your version of Islam sucks. I am sure no religion can be this stupid.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@Punjabiyaar

Maybe you think the lives of Sri Lankans are less than the folk at the World Trade Center, which is why you think Tamil Tigers are a small fish. The Tamils are indeed terrorists, created and supported by India, who have ruined the peace and lives of Sri Lanks for 30 years, and not a single “Mohammed” upon them.

Thanks for also admitting that lots of Muslims were killed in Samjhauta Express, which was conducted by Hindus.

 

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