A shocking report of Muslim Uighur wives of Pakistani men being held up in ‘education centres’ in China has surfaced. As per the Pakistani men whose wives have disappeared, the Chinese authorities have told them that they are taken to ‘education centres’ but they are not education centres but concentration camps.
According to one Pakistani Businessman, Atta, the Chinese call it “school”. However, the women are not allowed to leave the premises. He has termed it ‘prisons’. “I’m extremely worried now. It has been eight or nine months since I have seen my wife,” Atta said. According to him, there are about 200 Pakistani men whose spouses have disappeared from the Xinjiang province of China.
Incriminating reports blaming Beijing of interning members of its Muslim population – by “re-educating” them away from their faith have emerged. It is believed that China has resorted to this measure as a response to riots and violent attacks that the government has endured recently at the hands of Muslim separatists in the Xinjiang province.
As pointed out earlier, Muslims in these camps are “re-educated”, a process which can take anywhere between a few months to a year. Here they are compelled to give up Islam, pan their own Islamic traditions and extend their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party and Xi Jinping. Muslims are made to eat pork, drink alcohol which is taboo in Islam.
In the last month, Mihrigul Tursun, a member of the Uighur Muslim community in China, while speaking to the press had described in harrowing detail her torture at the hands of the communist government in the concentration camps in China. She claimed that she was traumatised to the extent that she was pleading for death to her tormentors. However, the Muslim world including Pakistan has expressed little concern for their fellow Muslim victims.
Pakistanis are often at the forefront in taking up the cudgel for Islam and Muslims whenever Muslim grievances are raised in any part of the world. From the West Bank conflict between Israel and Palestine to the more recent ones caused by cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, Pakistan has been vehement in denouncing the injustices meted out to the Muslims world over. However, they have turned a blind eye to this tyranny by China.
The abject social and economic situation in Pakistan has possibly forced it to maintain a conspicuous silence on the Chinese action. China is the major financial partner for cash-strapped Pakistan. With international organisations such as the World Bank and IMF hardening its noose, Pakistan cannot afford to antagonise the dragon it considers as its an all-weather ally. China is emerging as a global power and has invested heavily in many Muslim countries including Pakistan. This has perhaps kept Pakistan and other Muslim countries silent about the wretched plight of Uighur Muslims in China.
Even the left-leaning media outlets, who champion the cause of Human rights violations, have displayed astounding callousness to the predicament of the Uighur Muslims. The media outlets and Human rights commissions which take no time in raising perceived Human rights violations in other places have maintained a steady silence on the gross inequities meted out to the Uighur Muslims in China.
China, on the other hand, has got emboldened and had defended its policies regarding Uighur Muslims as aimed towards maintaining “peace and stability” in the region. China has claimed that it is sometimes necessary to repress a restive region in order to allow peace to prevail.