Uighur activist questions Pak silence on Xinjiang

‘Islamabad helping Beijing in containing anti-Beijing resistance from Uyghurs’

Updated - October 18, 2016 02:53 pm IST

Published - June 26, 2016 12:03 am IST - NEW DELHI:

A prominent dissident from China has claimed that the Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province of the country have been denied rights to observe religious rituals in the month of Ramzan, and has questioned the silence of Pakistan which despite its cultural ties with Xinjiang has avoided commenting on the condition of the community.

“The Uighurs of Xinjiang… are being denied the right to observe Ramzan. But we know that Pakistan which is vocal for the rights of Muslims elsewhere is wary of commenting on condition of the Uighurs in China,” said Dolkun Isa, the exiled leader of the Uighur freedom movement of Xinjiang, explaining that deep ties between Islamabad and Beijing prevents Pakistan from taking up Uighur issue.

Mr. Isa is based in Munich and has faced travel restrictions due to Chinese pressure on host countries.

He claimed that Pakistan was actively helping China in containing the anti-Beijing resistance from the Uighurs.

His comment is significant as it comes in the backdrop of Pakistan signing the Memorandum of Obligations at the Tashkent summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Friday, which will further enhance Pakistan-China security cooperation. “We fear that growing Chinese anti-terror cooperation under such regional groups will be used to unfairly target the innocent Uighurs in Xinjiang in the coming days,” said Mr. Isa.

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