A number of Chinese officials have denied reports that they are in contact with separatist militants in the troubled Pakistani province of Baluchistan to ensure the safety of the tens of billions of planned infrastructure projects planned in the region.
A report from The Financial Times this week said the secret talks between the two sides have lasted five years and Beijing has made direct contact with militants.
However, a top Chinese official who dealt directly with the region said he has not never heard of that gossip. The official himself does not want his name disclosed in the media.
Sher Muhammad Bugti, representative of the Baluch Republican separatist group , also denied negotiations with China. Nevertheless, a number of other separatist leaders were hesitant to issue a similar denial.
China is planning to build One Belt One Road a development initiative in Pakistan called the China Economic Corridor of Pakistan. The main purpose of the initiative is to build a network of roads and trains that will connect Xinjiang Province in West China and the Indian Ocean through Pakistan. [ab/lt]