Former Cricketer Shahid Afridi recently requested the Prime Minister of Pakistan to speak up against the treatment meted out to Uighur Muslims in China. He said that “talk of uniting the Muslim ummah includes our brothers & sisters in China too”. He also requested the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan to address the issue. However, 18 minutes into December the 25th, it was revealed Shahid Afridi deleted the said tweet.
Wonder who forced Shahid Afridi to delete his tweet condemning atrocities against Uighur Muslims by China? pic.twitter.com/z1P5DTZsxi
— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) December 24, 2019
Shahid Afridi’s tweet was possibly deleted after Lijian Zhao, the Deputy Director-General of the Information Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China responded to his comment about the Uighur situation. Zhao said that Afridi was “totally misled by Western propaganda against China”. “The West is demonizing China and exploiting the sentiments of Muslims,” he said.
Chinese oppression of Uighur Muslims has been known for a long time. Earlier the Chinese police had imposed a dress code for Uighur women, under which the Muslim women are not allowed to wear long dresses. Last year photos had appeared on social media showing police cutting dresses of Uighur women for being “too long”. It was also reported that Han Males are sleeping on the same bed as Uighur Muslim women in China whose male family members, often husbands, are locked up in ‘reeducation camps’ in conformity with a diktat by the Chinese regime.
Despite such atrocities, China has not faced any repercussions for its ongoing totalitarian policies which are most heinously affecting the Uighurs. They have been abandoned by the Muslim world as well. Imran Khan, who cannot stop engaging in delirious rhetoric against India regarding Kashmir, has refused to condemn China’s actions against Uighurs.
He continues to call China the best friend of Pakistan and has maintained a carefully crafted mask of ignorance over the entire issue. The OIC, while issuing statements on India, has refrained from issuing any statement on the Uighurs.
Thus, under such circumstances, it is only natural that Shahid Afridi deleted his tweet at the slightest pushback from the Chinese. It is well known that China does not appreciate being lectured to by people of other countries. Thus, once again, it seems, a follower of the Ummah has kneeled before the Chinese regime and meekly moderated his behaviour so as to not anger the Chinese.