This is a file photo of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( Reuters )
Pakistan PM Imran Khan has been completely silent on China's imprisonment of over a million Uyghur Muslim minorities.
Imran Khan, Pakistan's prime minister, continues to respond with a dead bat to practically every criticism of one of his country's closest partners, China.
In an interview with Axios's Jonathan Swan last week, the cricketer-turned-politician deftly avoided criticising China's persecution of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.
When asked about human rights violations in Xinjiang, Khan responded that "this is not the situation".
.@jonathanvswan presses Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on why he’s outspoken against Islamophobia in the West but silent about the genocide of Muslim Uyghurs in western China.— Axios (@axios) June 20, 2021
Khan: I concentrate on what is happening on my border.
Swan: This is on your border. #AxiosOnHBO pic.twitter.com/QdLfY1qXGL
Khan went on to say that he doesn't comment on what's going on in other countries because he's more concerned with what's going on in his own nation and along his border, before adding that the situation in Kashmir is "far more relevant" than what's going on with the Uyghurs.
Watch | Gravitas: China's Treatment Of Uighurs: Imran Khan Still Plays Ignorant
Imran Khan has long aspired to be one of the Muslim world's most recognised leaders. He has been leading a public fight in the West, particularly in Europe, against Islamophobia. Khan gave a stunning statement at the United Nations against Islamophobia and published an open letter inviting other Muslim leaders to join him in his battle.
Despite his efforts on behalf of the Muslim world, he has been completely silent on China's imprisonment of over a million Uyghur Muslim minorities.
This confinement is part of China's policy of forced assimilation, forced labour, and sterilisation, which the United States and numerous Western countries have labelled genocide.
In an interview with a TV channel in 2019, calling China as Pakistan's "best friend", Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said he doesn't know much about the situation of persecuted Uyghurs Muslims in China.
Also read | 'Don't know much about': Imran Khan on the situation of Uighurs Muslims in China
China has often been accused of widespread human rights abuses in Xinjiang. Up to 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to have been placed in mass detention centres in the region, according to the US State Department. These people have allegedly been subject to indoctrination and abuse.
Beijing, however, claims that these centres are voluntary and provide vocational training as part of a de-radicalisation programme in Xinjiang.