Pakistan Consulate General in China’s Chengdu said that its official Twitter handle was “hacked” after one of the posts talked about the “rights and freedom” of ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang. The tweet, which has still not been taken down, said that Pakistan’s foreign ministry was thankful to Beijing for providing financial aid and support for flood reconstruction in Pakistan, while adding that the two countries will continue to “collaborate in areas of mutual interests such as those pertaining to the freedom of Uyghurs”.
Later, a clarification was issued by the spokesperson of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that the handle was hacked and the tweet does not reflect the position of the Pakistan government.
China has been accused of committing human rights violations and genocide against the Uyghurs and other mostly-Muslim ethnic groups in the north-western region of Xinjiang.
Apart from that, Beijing has also been accused of targeting Muslim religious figures and banning religious practices in the region, and destroying mosques and tombs. China has always vociferously denied any wrongdoing.
It is estimated that there are about 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslim, in Xinjiang, which is officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).
Human rights organisations allege that China has put more than one million Uyghurs in what it calls “re-education camps”, and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.
There have been several attempts to debate the treatment of Uyghurs in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but the Chinese influence thwarted every attempt.
A recent report by the UN found China of “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang province. The report has urged China to immediately take steps to release “all individuals arbitrarily deprived of their liberty”.
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