Sultan M Hali:Consensus and cooperation on anti-terrorism between China and Pakistan


Introduction of interviewed experts:

Group Captain Sultan M Hali is a veteran of the Pakistan Air Force, where he flew 4,500 hours, has commanded various operational and training units and also served as Air & Naval Attaché at Riyadh. He was the founding Director Public Relations (PAF). During his eight years’ tenure, he researched, scripted and produced two dozen TV Documentaries, one of which, Air Defence System of Pakistan won the top prize at the Rome Festival; a TV Drama serial Shahpar and 12 motivational songs, the most popular of which is Shaheed ki jo Maut Hai Woh Qaum ki Hayat Hai.


Screenshot of the interview——Sultan M Hali 


Screenshot of the interview——Host

Interview background:

On August 17,2020, the 2020 Asia Pacific Public Security Forum was successfully held.During the forum, The experts and scholars at the conference from various countries discussed counter-terrorism security, international counter-terrorism cooperation, the Line of defense through big data and international security standards in the light of the epidemic situation. Pointing the Hot Topics for the forum,CGE insight invented one of the key guests at the conference Group Captain Sultan M Hali for online interview.

Time of the interview:August 15,2020

Location: CGE International Exchange Center


Host:Could you please introduce the security and counter-terrorism situation in South Asia particular in Pakistan?


Sultan M Hali:Pakistan has been in the center of the storm as far as the terrorism is concerned, which started in about 2007, after the United States of America had invaded the Afghanistan in 2001.And later on, when they withdrew from there because of their interest in Iraq,that gave the chance for Taliban and other miscreants to enter Pakistan and start terrorism operations here.Pakistan was viewed as an ally of America,so we have paid a very large price because of terrorist attacks.The good news is that the government of Pakistan,the military of Pakistan has evolved such a strategy that we have been able to defeat the terror mongers,Some of the terrorists are also entering the Province of Xinjiang in China,and create problems over there.

Also when President Xi Jinping started the Belt and Road Initiative of which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a flagship project.Then they try to sabotage this project,And they have been trying to make sure that they sabotage this project through some insurgents and through some other terrorists.

Coming back to your question.The government of Pakistan does not act alone.It has the support of its iron brother, China,ourselves have evolve a strategy.We created counter-terrorism schools,we have created counter-terrorism platforms,by which we can fight the terrorists from the air,from the ground, from the intelligence sources,and also on the sea,and we are sharing information. 


But under the new circumstances which evolved because of the COVID-19, some of the terrorists have been taking advantages of this epidemic, and they have been using the 5G welfare, that is, using media, and using fake news.They have been trying to spread that China was the country which started this,and China was not transparent,and China did not help out,which of course is a terrible lie.And there are also fake news about the treatment of Muslims,the Uyghurs in Xinjiang which again, is not true.


Host:As you said, we have the same enemy, and the same issues.Can you speak more exactly about Pakistan government policy and major measures to counter terrorism and separatism?


SultanM Hali:Like the Province of Xinjiang, where some misled Uyghurs started the problem of separatism,and also extremism and terrorism,the same way in Pakistan,the Province of Baluchistan was exploited by common issue,which is India, they sent some agents who tried to make the Baluchis rise in extremism, separatism,as well as commit terrorism.


So like the government of China issued a white paper on Xinjiang,the same way we also issued a white paper.Like the government of China introduce the policies by which the lifestyle of Uyghurs and the quality of life has increased.So the same way we started off,we have modern reforms on seminaries,the schools where people receive free education.But some terrorists were teaching the young students,terrorism, extremism and separatism.So we have modified the syllabus.


We have set up anti-terrorism schools where we carry out practice,And we also have our friends from China who visit us,And we learn from their experience,And we share our own experience And we have evolved tactics by which we can fight these terrorists,We are, hopefully, on the verge of defeating them.


Host:You know the Chinese government uses some ways to counter terrorism, and maybe the western governments,especially the American government think we did something so-called against human rights,like the Uyghur Human Right Policy Act of 2020.What do you think about that?


Sultan M Hali:I have visited the total land.I mentioned that I know Xinjiang from 1974,so I have seen its development.What the western is doing,It does not understand the issue,not understand the problem at all.And instead, it is biased,because maybe I feel it is jealous of the progress which China has made and it thinks that Xinjiang and Uyghur people they are soft underbelly of China from where they can attack.


We were taken for a tour, and we not only went to the places which are called the “indoctrination centers” which unfortunately the west is describing as torture cells.They are using fake pictures, taken during the WWII,of Germany, or some pictures taken in Indonesia,they have been presented as torture cells for the Uyghurs by the Chinese government,but that is totally false.I met the people, I talked to them,and I spent time with them,and I discovered that the policy which has been adopted by the Chinese government,it is strong.The second part I saw was that the Chinese government grants people opportunities,especially the Uyghurs and those who may have been in the lower stratum of society to get vocational training, to get better jobs,and also get to schools where they are given better education,and I was so pleased to see that some of the students speaking three languages,one was their own mother tongue,one was Mandarin and the third was foreign language.12-year-old boys and girls, they have such good knowledge.So when these policies mature,I’m sure that the world will see that the policies adopted by China are on the right track.


Host:We’d love to hear your opinion on China’s measures for deradicalization.Would you like to share with us?


Sultan M Hali:You see there is western propaganda that Chinese government is putting ban on Muslims from offering their rituals.This is totally false,because I have spent time with the Uyghurs,I spent time with the Muslims, I visited the mosque,and I find that there is a mosque for every 530 Muslims in the Province of Xinjiang.This is much more than you find even in the United States of America.Secondly, all the mosques I visited,they were not only modern, but they were very well equipped,they have all the device familiar to people.


When I spent time in the deradicalisation centers, I discovered as I mentioned earlier,that not only people are being taught the Chinese Constitution and the Chinese law, They also learn lessons of their own choice.Some of them are becoming artists,some are learning how to sow,some are learning embroidery,and some learn information technology.The course is born by the state,and they don’t have to pay a single penny.And at the end of it, all these people,they expressed their satisfaction.


Yes, there was a situation in Xinjiang when the situation was tense, and curfew was imposed, there was no night life.But last year when I went in July,I was so pleasantly surprised to see that all the markets were open,and on the weekend at night,Uyghurs were dancing in the streets to the music,and it was an open and free life.This is contrary to the western propaganda,and the result is because of the deradicalisation,people are getting to realize that they have been misled.I also visited the terrorist museum in Urumchiwhich has a full history of the terrorist act,and the separatist and extremist act carried out by some misled people of Uyghurs and extremists,some of them are at the behest of the western propagandas,What the terrible situations China has been through!So China has to face it, you see,Unfortunately, terrorism is a common problem to the entire world.


The US has faced it,France has faced it,Britain has faced it.If China has done it in such a fruitful manner,People should be learning lessons from it Rather than criticizing China.And I’m proud of the fact that China and Pakistan are friends and we are learning from each other.


Host:We see the measure of setting up reeducation centers in Xinjiang is a very important way for deradicalisation.But the US and western countries blame this as a way of violating human rights,what’s your opinion about this?


Sultan M Hali:I think the western opinion is totally biased. They are spreading rumors that the Chinese government has imposed a ban by which there is control over the birth of Uyghurs and Muslims.They are carrying out procedures by which the future generations of Uyghurs and Muslims will not be born,This is a total false fabrication and a lie and fake news.The very fact is that in the last about 11 years,the total Muslim population of Uyghurs has doubled.How can it double if the Chinese government is trying to impose birth control?


So another thing is about live labor. I have visited various factories,In fact, from the whole Belt and Road Initiative,I visited factories and I visited training centers,there is no such thing as live labor.In fact, the preference is given to the locals which are Uyghurs and other minorities to come and join.They are giving training and then they are given opportunities.


And also I have come across Uyghurs, one of them is your ambassador in Bahrain,and other people also.You have various talent shows,in which the Uyghur boys and girls come and show their talents.They would not be doing so if they were not free,and if they were not happy.So all these propaganda,these lies they can be nailed if there is sincerity.I think the answer to that is that the Chinese government,they should keep on inviting delegations from outside and visit.


One more thing I want to add over here.They are very sensitive.They do not like that anybody mistreat the Muslims,whether they are in China,whether they are in Saudi Arabia,Afghanistan or Indonesia.We have the organization of Islamic countries.But in response to the propaganda by west,more than 51 states of the world,which include the majority of Muslims,they have endorsed the policies of China and they have expressed their satisfaction that the Muslims of China,the Uyghurs and minorities are not being mistreated.In fact they are normal,so what better proof do you need?


Host:In Pakistan and China, we are facing similar issues.Do you think similar measures are taken by the Pakistan government to solve the problems?


Sultan M Hali:Exactly. We look up on China as a role model.We know that the Chinese society has evolved.I have seen with my own eyes when China was a very poor country, when China was backward.In 1974, when I went there,there was very little electricity, food was short, and so on.But it has progressed because of very sound policies.We have learned from this,and we are taking lessons.


Because we have caught one senior Indian spy,who gave us a whole blueprint of how the people of Baluchistan,they are being brainwashed,just like the Uyghurs to stand up and become insurgents against the government.So we are following the same policy.


We are improving the quality of life,and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, Is a very mega project which is giving the opportunity for the people of Baluchistan,Especially to get better occupation,better jobs, better education,and there are facilities like hospitals, schools, roads, airports, oil refineries and so on.So we hope to match what China has achieved and do the same in Pakistan,and our counter-terrorism policies will bear fruit. 

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