Imran Khan: 'I believe Beijing' on Uyghur persecution
In an interview with Chinese media, the Pakistani premier "considering relations with China" describes charges of human rights violations against the Muslim minority in Xinjiang as "hypocritical" and Washington's expectation that his country will take sides in an alternative axis to Beijing as "unfair".
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - On the issue of the Uyghurs, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan "given our proximity and relations with China" believes Beijing's version, which rejects accusations of human rights violations against the Muslim minority living in the Xinjiang region.
In an interview with Chinese journalists to coincide with the celebrations for the centenary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, Imran Khan called complaints about the situation of the Uighurs and Hong Kong by Western public opinion "hypocritical". According to the Pakistani premier "there are much more serious violations of human rights taking place in other parts of the world such as in occupied Kashmir, but the Western media hardly talk about it".
It is a position that confirms how fundamental the geopolitical axis with China is for Pakistan today. So important as to minimize accusations raised by international human rights organizations against Beijing such as those of torture, slave labor, forced birth control in an attempt at ethnic cleansing of a Muslim minority.
In the interview with Chinese media, however, Imran Khan went even further: he explicitly praised the Chinese Communist Party system. "Until now, we had been told that the best way for societies to improve was through Western democracy. The CPC has introduced an alternative model and they have beaten all Western democracies in the way they have highlighted merit in society," he said.
As for the rivalry between Washington and Beijing and the West's efforts to create an alternative axis to the Belt and Road Initiative in Asia, the Pakistani Prime Minister declared it "unfair that the United States and the West expect countries like Pakistan to take sides", assuring that "Islamabad will not retreat in its relations with China".
Chinese investments in the country are not a painless issue for Pakistan: for some time now, extremist Muslim groups have targeted the infrastructure that Beijing is building in Baluchistan. And in April they attacked a hotel in Quetta where the Chinese ambassador was staying, who escaped the attack because at that moment he was not in the structure.