tirsdag 22. juni 2021

Pakistan PM Imran Khan refuses to condemn China's Xinjiang crackdown

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan refused to condemn the Chinese government's alleged human rights abuses against the Muslim-majority Uyghur people in Xinjiang in an interview with Axios Sunday. When pressed on reports of widespread detention and abuse of Uyghurs, Khan said China had been "one of the greatest friends to us in our most difficult times," and any conversations with Beijing on Xinjiang would happen "behind closed doors."

Up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to have been placed in a sprawling network of detention centers across Xinjiang in recent years, according to the US State Department. Many former detainees allege they were subjected to attempted indoctrination, physical abuse and even sterilization.

The United States government and several Western parliaments have labeled China's actions in Xinjiang as genocide. But Khan said Beijing had denied reports of widespread abuses of Uyghur Muslims in private conversations with Islamabad.  "We respect the way they are ... How come this is such a big issue in the Western world? Why are the people of Kashmir ignored? It is much more relevant," he said. The disputed Muslim-majority region of Kashmir has been the epicenter of an often violent territorial struggle between India and Pakistan.