Davos: Turning a blind eye on the Chinese persecution of millions of Uighur Muslims, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan one again drew a blank when asked about conditions of minorities in China, saying “I do not know enough about it”.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4 Today, which was broadcasted on Wednesday, Imran Khan talked about the Kashmir issue. However, he refused to make a comment about his position regarding the Chinese treatment of Uighurs. After being repeatedly nudged by journalist Mishal Husain, Khan said he does not know much about the Uighur issue.
China has been condemned internationally for cracking down on the minorities living in their countries. China has been accused of oppressing the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the community to undergo some form of forceful re-education or indoctrination. However, Pakistan has stayed mum over this issue.
“…Over eight million people are in open prison,” said Khan while referring to Kashmir. Then Husain asked him about his views on what is happening in another neighbour China’s western region Xinjiang. Khan tries to brush aside the issue saying he speaks about Kashmiri Muslims as the region is disputed territory between China and India. Husain then countered Khan by saying that he has made a broad point about Muslims in India. “Do you have any concern regarding what is going on in Xinjiang’, she asked, “I don’t know enough about it and If I have, we will speak about it in private that how the Chinese are.”
When India abrogated Article 370 in August last year, Pakistan ramped up its rhetoric against New Delhi and had expressed concern over the situation of Muslims in the region. Khan even had called himself an ambassador of Kashmiri people.
However, when it comes to China’s treatment of Muslims, Pakistan has been mum and when asked to comment on it, the Pakistan PM has tried to brush it aside saying that there is a lot going on in its own country. The United States had also asked Pakistan to express the “same level” of concern about Muslims detentions in Western China as they do for Kashmir.
Khan’s comment comes just days after the Pakistan prime minister in another interaction with German Based DW made similar remarks saying that Chinese are “sensitive” and that’s why Islamabad avoids discussing the Uighur issue with them.
Imran Khan’s reaction on the Uighur issue draws a criticism on social media where he is being called out for being selective on raising the issues of Muslims.
“I have never gotten this hypocrisy from Imran Khan. Pakistan has been very vocal on Muslims in most parts of the world including J&K but is silent as a door mouse on the detention of 1 mn Uighur civilians with credible allegations of abuse & torture,” said a Twitterati.
“ImranKhan on deplorable conditions of Uighur Muslims in China: ‘At the moment I do not know enough about it… I’m afraid I do not know about it.’ This guy is a coward. He will do anything for money. #Pakistan has no guts to say anything against China,” a user says.
“But our Prime Minister Imran Khan have a different view. Every time he asked about Uighur Muslims he denied about having knowledge about it and ignore the question,” says another.
“‘We decided that whatever issues we will have with China, we will deal with them privately.’
Pakistan PM Imran Khan recently said that he has been silent on the repression of Uighur Muslims because China has helped Pakistan,” said another Twitterati.