Uyghur-linked ETIM group has left Afghanistan: Taliban to China

WION Web Team
Kabul Published: Sep 13, 2021, 02:13 PM(IST)

Image fro representation Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

China has branded the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terror threat even the former Trump administration had removed the group from the US list of terrorist organisations last year.

According to reports, the Taliban has told Chinese officials that Uyghur militants belonging to East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) have left Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesman reportedly told Chinese state media that the Uyghur Islamic group which China had mentioned earlier is not present in the country and "won't be allowed to return".

China has branded the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) as a terror threat. China is believed to have held over a million Uyghurs in internment camps since 2017 and fears the presence of ETIM in Afghanistan may lead to trouble in the restive Xinjiang region.

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China’s state-run Global Times newspaper reported that Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen had said there is no place for anyone to use Afghanistan against other counties.

"Those who are intending to carry out sabotage activities in other countries or have their foreign agenda would not be able to remain in the country," Shaheen was quoted as saying in a warning to ETIM.

Read: How the Pakistan-Afghanistan-China link was established decades ago

Last month China had asked the United States to reimpose the ban on ETIM as the Taliban surged through the country and established control over Afghanistan. ETIM is believed to have Al Qaeda and Taliban links.

The United Nations Security Council(UNSC) had listed ETIM as a terrorist organisation in 2002, however, the former Trump administration had removed the group from the US list of terrorist organisations last year amid reports of human rights violations by China against Uygurs in Xinjiang province.

Reports claimed Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on a visit to China earlier had assured Chinese officials earlier that ETIM will not be allowed to function in Afghanistan. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

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