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Pak's Jamaat signs deal with China's Communist party

Pak's Jamaat signs deal with China's Communist party

Author: Saibal Dasgupta
Publication: The Times of India
Date: February 20, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Paks-Jamaat-signs-deal-with-Chinas-Communist-party/articleshow/4162917.cms

[Note from the Hindu Vivek Kendra: There are many 'analysts' in India who are suggesting that India should bend backwards to have good relationship with both China and Pakistan. However, they will never adversely comment on happenings as has been reported in this article.]

The atheist Communist Party of China has recently signed an agreement with Pakistan's main Islamic party, the Jamaat-e-Islami. The Chinese move has given the oft-criticized JI some sort of international acceptability while putting Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari under significant political pressure.

CPC has signed accord with Communist parties in different countries including the Indian Communists. But this is the first time that it has inked a deal with a foreign political party, which makes no bones about its religious cause. JI kept away from the last election and is generally arrayed against the Zardari government.

The deal will limit Zardari's options in choosing friends in the western world and tie him more closely to Chinese leaders, who now have some influence in the country's Islamic politics, sources said. It was signed a few days before Zardari landed in Wuhan this evening on a four-day visit to China.

It also comes at a time when the Pakistani president is being criticised in western countries over the peace deal in Swat, the settled area of Pakistan. The Swat deal is seen in some quarters as a sign of weakening in the face of Taliban forces.

China observer said Beijing's Communist leaders have entered into an informal agreement with JI leadership that it would do nothing to encourage Islamic separatists in the border Xinjiang region, which is the hotbed of the East Turkmenistan movement. China's Public Security Bureau had earlier indicated that several of the Xinjiang separatists have been training in camps in Pakistan.

The Chinese leadership has remained silent about the accord with the JI. But the Islamist group has gone on record in Pakistan saying that the agreement covered the fields of justice, development, security and solidarity. JI has also issued a statement quoting party leader Qazi Hussain Ahmad as saying that Zardari should get closer to China in order to extricate Pakistan from "the clutches" of the United States.

"Pakistan is trapped in a tight US grip where Islamabad is not allowed to independently deal with its internal affairs," the JI statement said.

Zardari is not visiting Beijing on his second visit in four months as the Chinese leaders are busy hosting Hilary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, visiting the Chinese capital for three days from today. He will use the opportunity to visit cultural centres run by the Chinese Communists and the government in Wuhan and Shanghai.

Cultural centres are usually used as tools for political campaign in China and Zardari is obviously keen on taking a first hand look at them. He will also visit hydropower projects and financial institutions.

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