BEIJING-China’s newly appointed special envoy for Afghanistan Sun Yuxi today strongly backed the role played by Pakistan in fighting terrorism. Rejecting suggestions that elements in the Pakistani government or the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were fanning the terror problem in neighboring Afghanistan, Mr. Sun said the ISI “has been effective in fighting against terrorism.”

Sun, a former Ambassador to Afghanistan and India said in an interaction with journalists, "I think as an agency for the government and military for Pakistan, the ISI has been effective in fighting against terrorism. As for the specific [Herat] case, I have not been following regional developments for some time but I do believe that the Pakistan government or any responsible agency of Pakistan will only fight against terrorism instead of being involved with any terrorist groups.”

“I want to tell my colleagues from India and Pakistan that I know that both countries are making efforts to safeguard peace and stability and helping Afghanistan with reconstruction,” he said. “As special envoy, I will keep a close working relationship with counterparts from India and Pakistan so as to contribute to peace and fighting terrorism.”

Sun said he believed the Pakistan government would “play an important and positive role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan and fight terrorism together with the international community.”

Mr. Sun also highlighted China’s own terror concerns, with some members of the separatist group the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) – an Islamist group campaigning for independence in Xinjiang region.

“When I was ambassador in Afghanistan, particularly before the September 11 attacks, hundreds of people coming from Xinjiang were receiving training in Afghanistan,” he said.

The Chinese special envoy said he was “optimistic” about Afghanistan's future, with the imminent withdrawal of U.S. troops. He underlined the immediate need to achieve “nationwide reconciliation” with “all parties brought into the mainstream.”

“The U.S. is beginning to withdraw security forces and we feel happy about this. We also welcome the fact that some military bases of the U.S. are still in operation,” Sun Yuxi noted.