China’s economic rise and growing presence in Pakistan due to its investment specifically in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has given Beijing an unprecedented scope to take off ‘Transnational Repression’ in the country including violation of human rights and persecution of Uyghur minorities in Xinjiang region, reported Canada-based think tank International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS).
Chinese authorities had included Pakistan on the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XAR) list of 26 blacklisted countries.
The blacklisting means those with contacts with anyone or visited or have family ties or any communication in these blacklisted countries are not to be trusted and will remain under the radar of XAR authorities, reported the think tank.
Notably, for years Pakistani nationals and Uyghurs have forged marriages as there has been trans-border commerce involved between the two nations across the Karakoram Highway.
In one of the incidents in Pakistan, Sikandar Hayat and Ghulam Durrani were separated from their wives who happen to be Uyghurs. The wives were detained in XAR by the Chinese authorities while they were visiting there.
Subsequently, Hayat’s son who went to support his mother in XAR was not able to meet his father for two years.
Furthermore, Durrani’s wife continues to be in detention since 2017.
In a particularly heinous episode exposing Islamabad’s insensitivity and involvement in China’s “repression,” the Pakistani security forces deported 14 Uyghur Islamic students suspected of being terrorists by China.
After being turned over to China, the authorities mercilessly killed all of the students at the border.
The international community has been quite vocal about the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and recently, French Parliament slammed China’s “genocide” of its Uyghur Muslim people on Thursday, in a resolution that could sour relations between Paris and Beijing only two weeks before the Winter Olympics.
The resolution also urges the French government to protect the ethnic minority in the Xinjiang region and take “the necessary measures within the international community and in its foreign policy towards the People’s Republic of China”.
Approximately 60 Uyghurs were deported or imprisoned by Pakistani security forces till 2014. Following the unrest in Urumchi, a huge number of Uyghurs attempted to exit China via Pakistan to Turkey.
The Uyghurs were apprehended by Pakistani officials on their route to Turkey and deported. In one example, five innocent Uyghurs were deported to China from Baluchistan in 2010, despite the fact that they had no ties to any terror groups.