As soon as Xinjiang chairman Shohrat Zakir spoke at the regional People’s Congress unveiling the plans to stop “illegal movement” along the border, Indian propaganda started churning out false reports of Pakistani terrorists finding their way into China. Not only are these reports baseless, but also an attempt to sabotage the open communication that Pakistan shares with its ally.

Xinjiang has long been home to a homegrown insurgency against Beijing’s rule waged by extremists among the native Turkic-speaking Uighur ethnic group, who are mainly Muslim and culturally distinct from most Chinese. Many Uighurs already face onerous restrictions on where they can work and travel to, including extreme difficulties in obtaining passports. If the Xinjiang government chooses to tighten security along its border, it is their prerogative to do so. Pakistan has proper security to check illegal movement along its borders and the extensive Zarb-e-Azb operation carried out by the Pakistan Army ensures that China and the CPEC are safe from Pakistan based terrorism.

Xinjiang shares a border not just with Pakistan but also with Afghanistan, and four nations whose native populations share ethnic, linguistic and religious links with Uighurs. Uighur extremists have also been reported to have joined the fighting in Syria and were blamed for a deadly attack on a Buddhist temple in Thailand. The province has been under heavy security since deadly riots in 2009 rocked the area. Security measures were tightened further following a wave of attacks blamed on Uighur separatists striking in Xinjiang and other parts of China, including Beijing. The Uighurs are an internal problem for China that they know well to handle themselves how they see fit.

As far the security for the CPEC is concerned Pakistan has made every effort to provide adequate security for the project. Pakistan has also handed over control of Gwadar Port to China’s state-owned China Overseas Ports Holding in February 2013. China is investing close to $57 billion under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which speaks volumes about the two nations’ friendship and trust in each other’s ability to follow through on promises. If anything, this and the CPEC should be a motivating factor for the Pakistani government to go after all banned outfits and ensure that no anti-state elements can attempt to sabotage the project set to bring prosperity to the nation as well as the entire region.