Pak refrains from raising Uighur issue with China

Islamabad: Pakistan has refrained from raising the issues surrounding Uighur Muslims in its meeting with China’s top diplomat earlier in the week, even after worldwide criticism of China’s alleged abuse of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang Province.

According to Arab News, Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Noorul Haq Qadri said that the Uighur issue was not discussed.

Pakistan’s reluctance to raising the issue of the Uighur community, in spite of widespread criticism, could be seen as a result of its growing proximity to China.

Qadri further said that the meeting focused on measures for the constitution of an exchange program for moderate Islamic scholars, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding would soon be signed on the exchange of scholars.

So far, no official statement pertaining to the meeting has been issued by the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad.

Divulging excerpts from the meeting, Ministry spokesperson Imran Siddique told Arab News, ” China’s enemy is Pakistan’s enemy and that Pakistan has also taken a clear stance on the economic corridor and maintained that Islamabad will not compromise on the project.”

The Uighurs are a majority in the Xinjiang province, situated in the western part of China and is officially designated as an autonomous region.

Many international human rights organisations have accused China of cracking down on the Uighurs by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending the minority community to undergo forceful re-education or indoctrination.