‘Mute on Kashmir, arguing about Xinjiang’: West is duplicitous, says Imran

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said the selective silence of the West on human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) was deafening and very difficult to swallow in Pakistan while they talk on Uyghurs but don’t say much on the worst rights abuses in IIOJ&K, being committed by India.

Prime Minister called this their (West’s) double standards in highlighting China’s lleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and remarked, “What we find very difficult to swallow in Pakistan is that while they talk about Uyghurs, they do not talk much in the West about IIOJ&K because the worst human rights violations are taking place there by India”.

Replying to a question, PM Imran said his upcoming visit to China in the next week would provide him an opportunity to witness the winter Olympics. Despite a sportsman for about 20 years, he had not witnessed such an event in the past. Being in politics, he did not get time for sports.

The premier was giving an interview to Chinese journalists here and taking questions from them ahead of his visit to China, where he will be attending the inaugural session of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. He emphasised that somehow there is selective silence about human rights in IIOJ&K where around nine million people are basically living in the worst conditions and it is almost an open prison by these 800,000 Indian troops.

He regretted that on one side they (West) talk about Xinjiang, but on the other, there is this silence on IIOJ&K, which is deafening for us, adding while there was a lot of criticism from the West about the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Pakistan’s ambassador to China had visited the region and found that this is actually not true on the ground.

Read More: Pakistan urges UNSC to note India’s crimes in occupied Kashmir

The prime minister expressed his eagerness to attend the Olympics, saying it would be his first time doing so and it was very admirable for China to go forward with the event when the pandemic had adversely affected many sporting events.

He also hailed and stressed the deep relationship between the two countries had only strengthened over time. PM Imran added, “There is a feeling in Pakistan that China always stood with us in times of need and supported us during difficult times. Similarly, Pakistan also always stood with China: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project had further linked the countries and also entered phase two of its operations, which focuses on industrial development”.

The prime minister said Pakistan was looking forward to collaborating with China on many more fronts such as sports, information technology, agriculture, poverty alleviation, development and city planning and management. “Pakistan wanted to emulate the Chinese model of development because it was inclusive,” he remarked and also referred to the construction of the Karakorum highway as a vital milestone in the chapter of Pakistan-China friendship while a number of Chinese died during its construction.

To a query, he said that the most impressive thing about China as acknowledged by the entire world was its success in taking 700 million people out of poverty during the last 30-40 years and noted such huge achievement had never happened before in the human history. He said that it was such a feast that had impressed the world. “It is this fact which also impressed me as it coincides with my objective of steering my people out of poverty’.

Read More: UK asked to prosecute India’s army chief, home minister over atrocities in Kashmir

Responding to another question, he maintained that they would like to emulate the steps taken by China to alleviate poverty. We want to emulate the Chinese model of inclusive growth. The Chinese economy growth witnessed the prosperity of all Chinese people.

The prime minister said such inclusive growth excluded the bridge between the rich and the poor: China had been a model for all those countries that wanted an inclusive growth. He also expressed best wishes on his behalf and on behalf of the people of Pakistan to the Chinese government and the people on the advent of new lunar year festival.

When asked on Afghanistan, he emphasized that foreign forces cannot just leave the country without thinking of its people, and warned the country could see the worst humanitarian crisis if everyone abandoned it, saying the international community should just think of the 40 million Afghans. Whether they like the Taliban government or not should be secondary.

He pointed out that after 40 years, the war-weary country got a chance for peace while the international community did not think of the Afghans after the foreign troops’ withdrawal. They did not think how these impoverished people would survive.

Source: International The News

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