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ISIS on Mind? China, Pak Begin Joint Patrol on PoK-Xinjiang Border

The patrol has been launched amid reports that over 100 Uyghur Muslims have fled the Xinjiang province to join ISIS.

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Chinese and Pakistan border troops have for the first time launched joint patrolling of the border connecting Pakistan occupied Kashmir with the Xinjiang province, amid reports that over 100 Uyghur Muslims have fled the restive region to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Though there is no write-up to provide details about what prompted both the countries to launch the joint patrol, it coincides with reports of the Uyghurs sneaking out to join ISIS.

The Chinese state media reported the joint patrol even as the President Xi Jinping asked Chinese Muslims to practice their religion ‘as part of Chinese society and direction’.

The People’s Daily Online on Thursday published a dozen photos of the joint patrol.

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The patrol has been launched amid reports that over 100 Uyghur Muslims have fled the Xinjiang province to join ISIS.
The People’s Daily Online’s coverage of the joint patrol. (Photo: Screenshot/People’s Daily Online)
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The photos show teams of armed troops from both sides conducting foot patrols in a number of areas.

The patrol has been launched amid reports that over 100 Uyghur Muslims have fled the Xinjiang province to join ISIS.
Pakistan and Chinese military during the joint patrol. (Photo: Screenshot/People’s Daily Online)
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This is the first time China and Pakistan have done joint patrols in recent years though Chinese troops have been conducting patrols in the area since 2014.

US think-tank New America Foundation on Wednesday said tough religious restrictions on Muslim minorities in China’s far West may have driven 114 Uyghurs to join the ISIS.

But it found that the recruits had no prior experience with jihad, raising questions about China’s official narrative of radicalisation in Xinjiang by the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

The separatist militant group ETIM in the past is reported to have training bases in Pakistan’s tribal areas and subsequently, Pakistan military, under pressure from China, carried out massive air and ground operations to clear the Uyghur militants’ bases.

Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim Turkic-speaking ethnic group who hail from Xinjiang and China in the past has stated that a number of militants from the community who fought in Syria were caught after their return.

Currently, the work is underway for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which connects both the countries through highways, rail, optic cable network and pipelines.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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Topics:  ISIS   Pakistan   China  

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