In a big humiliation for Pakistan, a top US official questioned Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s silence about China, which has detained around one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking Muslims. Calling-out the double standards of Pakistan, US acting assistant secretary for South and Central Asia Alice Wells asked Pakistan to express the “same level” of concern about Muslims’ detentions in China as they do for Kashmir.
“…I would like to see the same level of concern expressed also about Muslims who are being detained in Western China, literally in concentration-like conditions,” Wells said while replying to a question about Pakistan PM’s alleged concerns about Kashmir.
“And so being concerned about the human rights of Muslims does extend more broadly than Kashmir, and you’ve seen the administration very involved here during the UN General Assembly and trying to shine a light on the horrific conditions that continue to exist for Muslims throughout China,” Wells said.
China is a major diplomatic and economic partner of Pakistan. Khan, asked about the Uighurs at a think tank on Monday, declined comment, saying that Pakistan had a “special relationship” with
China and would only raise issues in private.
Experts say more than one million Uighurs and people of other mostly
Muslim ethnic minorities have been rounded up in internment camps in the tightly-controlled region.
After initially denying their existence, Beijing now defends the camps, which it calls “vocational education centres”, as a necessary measure to counter religious extremism and terrorism.
The US led more than 30 countries in condemning what it called China’s “horrific campaign of repression” against Muslims in Xinjiang at an event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that was denounced by China.