Imran in Beijing ‘supports’ China on Xinjiang, brings up ‘minority persecution in India’

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Pakistan Prime Minister’s comments at odds with his stand on Xinjiang, where he has backed controversial Chinese policies.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday reiterated his support to China over its controversial policies in Xinjiang, while bringing up what he claimed to be “persecution of minorities” in India.

A joint statement released on Sunday following Mr. Khan’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping said Pakistan was committed to a “One-China Policy and support for China on Taiwan, South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.”

The joint statement also mentioned the Kashmir issue and said Mr. Khan “briefed the Chinese side on the latest developments on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, including its concerns, position and pressing issues at the moment.”

The statement basically affirmed China’s long-standing position on Kashmir that the issue “should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the U.N. Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements” and that it “opposes any unilateral actions that complicate the situation”.

Mr. Khan, in his remarks to President Xi, went further, claiming that “the persecution of minorities in India in advancing the Hindutva mindset of RSS-BJP, was a threat to regional peace and stability”, according to a readout in the official Associated Press of Pakistan. Those comments were not mentioned in the Chinese readout of the talks.

His comments are at odds with his position on Xinjiang, where Mr. Khan has repeatedly voiced “support” for China’s actions, which include sending up to 1 million Uighurs, a minority Muslim group, to “re-education” camps. China initially denied the existence of the camps, and subsequently said they were for “vocational training”.

The U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada carried out a “diplomatic boycott” of the Winter Olympics — their athletes are still taking part — over Xinjiang. India initially decided to not boycott the games and in November voiced support along with Russia — New Delhi has so far refrained from commenting on the Xinjiang issue — but decided to do so last week following the use of a People’s Liberation Army commander who was involved in the Galwan clash in the Olympics torch relay.

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