Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan have formally announced their counter-terrorism alliance on Wednesday, considering extremism as serious threat to regional stability.
Top defence commanders of the four countries held a meeting in the Chinese city of Urumqi and later made the announcement of the Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) on counter-terrorism, according to a statement issued by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
“The inaugural high-level meeting on Quadrilateral Cooperation and Coordination Mechanism in counter-terrorism by Afghanistan-China-Pakistan-Tajikistan armed forces/militaries was held in Urumqi, China, on 3rd August 2016,” ISPR said in its statement.
The meeting was attended by Chief of Joint Staff Department of Central Military Commission (CMC) of China General Fang Fenghui, Pakistan’s army chief General Raheel Sharif, Afghan National Army Chief of General Staff Qadam Shah Shahim and First Deputy Defence Minister and CGS Tajikistan armed forces Major General E A Cobidrzoda.
“The participants unanimously agreed that terrorism and extremism are serious threat to regional stability and reiterated to cooperate for tackling these forces for peace and stability of all member countries,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting said.
The four countries agreed to establish the QCCM to coordinate and provide mutual support limited to four countries only in the fields of counterterrorism, situation evaluation, clue verification, intelligence sharing, capacity building, joint training exercises and personnel training.
The new mechanism clarified that it was not targeted against any state or international organisation.
Fang Fenghui, member of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) said that the “quadrilateral mechanism” is the first security cooperation mechanism established by the militaries of regional countries. The mutual support between Chinese and Pakistani armed forces is critical for safeguarding regional peace and stability, Fang added.
The QCCM was a Chinese initiative, but Pakistan’s General Sharif actively contributed to its establishment, according to Pakistani newspaper Dawn. Gen. Sharif visited Tajikistan and Afghanistan in March for this purpose. His visit to Kabul on that occasion coincided with that of Gen Fang, who was also there for talks on the alliance.
Meanwhile, General Raheel Sharif held a meeting with Gen Fang of China’s People’s Liberation Army and discussed military to military relations, bilateral security cooperation and all dimension of long term China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) security.
Genl Raheel also held separate meeting with Xinjiang province Party Secretary Zhang Chun Xian and discussed Pakistan-China bilateral relations and regional security issue with particular reference to CPEC completion and security.