Uighurs in Afghanistan fear deportation to China

New York: Uighurs population in Afghanistan fears that they will be extradited to China after the Taliban takeover of the war-ravaged country.

“The Uighurs in Afghanistan are just so scared. The Taliban has been dealing with China a lot behind closed doors,” Mohammed Umar, the Pakistan-based chairman of the Umar Uighur Trust, told New York Post.

“Now that the Taliban has full power, maybe they will be tracked,” Umar added.

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The US completed the withdrawal of its troops from Afghanistan, ending one of its longest wars. Taliban’s grip over Afghanistan following the pullout of US forces triggered a chaotic exodus of thousands of civilians and foreigners. Advocacy groups have expressed fear for the country’s estimated 2,000 Uighurs.

China has been accused of cracking down on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Multiple reports suggest that Beijing sends the ethnic minorities to mass detention camps and interferes in their religious activities.

“The Taliban are Muslim, and we are Muslim too, but right now everything is about money, and the Taliban gets money from China,” he said, as quoted by The Post. “Right now, all Muslim countries are doing that.”

Abdul Aziz Naser, the Turkey-based spokesperson for Uighur Trust, said around 100 Uyghur families are languishing in Afghanistan after they were overlooked for evacuation flights. “I contacted all over the world, but there were no results,” Naser told The Post.

Earlier this month, a US-based research and advocacy group had released a new report documenting the complicity of Pakistan and Afghanistan in China’s transnational repression of Uighurs.

The report by Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP) and the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs (Oxus), discerns different methods used by the Chinese government against Uyghur communities in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“At the behest of the Chinese authorities, Islamabad and Kabul are engaged in the harassment, detention, and deportation of vulnerable Uighurs. Some of the targeted Uighurs have been tortured and executed in China, while others have experienced the breakup of their families and heavy-handed surveillance of their communities,” the UHRP report had said.

China’s economic largesse can buy all sorts of complicity in violence against Uighurs, it added.

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