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Pakistani (Mora) delegation moved to China to ‘observe’ fasting ban in Xinjiang

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ISLAMABAD: A Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs (Mora) delegation has left for China’s Xinjiang province, to investigate how Ramazan is observed in the restricted region after Chinese authorities ban fasting in Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.

Beijing has formally requested Islamabad to send a delegation to Xinjiang to ascertain the facts said the ministry official.

Noor Zaman, Mora Spokesman Noor Zaman said the Chinese government had extended an official invitation to the ministry. “They asked us for names of delegation members and we gave them four names,” he said. “This is not a probe, as it is China’s internal issue,” he added.

The delegation includes the Director General (Research), Noor Islam Shah, and Faisal Mosque chief cleric Ziaur Rehman. They will ascertain facts regarding the reported ban on fasting and they will be back before Eid.

According to Chinese government websites China marked the start of Ramazan by restricting civil servants, students and children in Xinjiang from fasting.

The country’s ruling Communist party is atheist and has, for years, restricted fasting for government employees and minors in the province. But the Chinese officials denied the reports saying that the country’s constitution guarantees religious freedom.

China has 20 million-strong Muslim population, and Xinjiang is home to 10 million Uighur Muslims. The country’s ruling Communist party is atheist and has, for years, restricted fasting for government employees and minors in the province.

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