Pakistan seeks closer links with Xinjiang

Pakistan has sought closer economic links with China's far-western Xinjiang region and has pledged to assuage the country's security fears in the wake of recent attacks which Chinese officials have blamed on Pakistan-based terror groups.

Pakistan was working towards “integrated border management” with China and in creating a trans-regional economic zone with rail linkages between the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and neighbouring Xinjiang, said its Ambassador to China Masood Khan here on Friday.

Mr. Khan said China's plans to build a Special Economic Zone in the border city of Kashgar would bring the two countries closer by strengthening trade links, and pledged support to addressing security concerns that some Chinese analysts fear may impact cross-border trade ties. While Chinese officials hope Kashgar's development into an SEZ will raise incomes in Xinjiang's south, a region seen as the source of unrest, authorities have also expressed increasing concern over growing cross-border terror linkages.

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