PM ‘doesn’t know much’ about condition of Uighurs in China

Published: January 8, 2019
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Imran says China wants Pakistan to keep details of aid confidential. SCREENGRAB

Imran says China wants Pakistan to keep details of aid confidential. SCREENGRAB

KARACHI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he doesn’t know much about the conditions of Uighur Muslims in China’s far western Xinjiang province amid reports in the western media about alleged persecution of the religious minority.

Premier Imran was speaking in an interview with Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT World where he was asked, “You’re doing business with China does it mean you cannot criticise them when it comes to what they are doing with Uighurs.”

According to a Washington Post report, up to 1.1 million people, or 11.5 per cent of the Uighur population between the ages of 20 and 79, are believed to be held in “concentration camps” where they are allegedly forced to renounce their religion and Uighur language, and memorise and recite Chinese characters and propaganda songs.

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Prime Minister Imran said China has cooperated with Pakistan in a number of areas, which he cannot even disclose because China wants Pakistan to keep the details of aid confidential.

Asked about Pakistan’s relations with the United States, the premier said Washington is trying to make Pakistan a scapegoat for its failures in Afghanistan. “There is no military solution to the Afghanistan issue, and dialogue is the only way forward to resolve the conflict.”

The prime minister lamented that over the period, Pakistan has developed a dependency syndrome for which the country has paid a heavy cost in the shape of suicide attacks, terrorism and huge economic and human losses.

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He added that there is “no free lunch” and Pakistan has never tried to become an economically self-reliant country instead it always relied on foreign aid.

Prime Minister Imran said the people of Turkey and Muslims of sub-continent have cordial relations due to their historical links. “The Muslims of the subcontinent had helped the Turkish people in their fight for independence. Moreover, the two countries have strong trade relations and he wants to further enhance it.”

Speaking about domestic issues, the prime minister said the state institutions had not been independent and instead controlled by the corrupt rulers in the past.

He said that under his government, all state institutions are being freed of political pressure and empowered to take action against anyone regardless of their political affiliation.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • kp
    Jan 8, 2019 - 7:45PM

    Hypocrisy at its finest.Recommend

  • Azi
    Jan 8, 2019 - 7:52PM

    Let him focus on his own country and its current situation instead of worrying about people who ALSO don’t know much about Pakistanis and their sorry state. No need of nitpicking on things to get on the bad side of one country that still is economically friendly to us. Recommend

  • curious2
    Jan 8, 2019 - 8:22PM

    Nice article. It’s shameful that Pakistan won’t disclose CPEC or defend fellow Muslims being persecuted in China. Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jan 8, 2019 - 11:58PM

    Imran should stop giving interviews and focus on uplifting the economy.
    His single digit billions charity will get us nowhere. We need atleast 25 Billions dollars now to sustain market confidence. It’s plain economics not rocket science. Go to IMF dude! There no other option Recommend

  • cuban
    Jan 9, 2019 - 12:18AM

    So why doesn’t he “know much”? One would think a Million Muslims being put into concentration camps should be something worth investigating – especially from a neighbor who we hold out as our “best friend”. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate our relationship with China – starting with full disclosure of Chinese Aid/CPEC.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jan 9, 2019 - 1:21AM

    Imran is no way responsible for Chinese Muslims . Recommend

  • ABC
    Jan 9, 2019 - 11:03AM

    Its not his duty to keep information about other countries’ problems. Recommend

  • Blue Whale
    Jan 9, 2019 - 8:57PM

    Uighurs are not Pakistanis . Why should Imran be concerned about them ?Recommend

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