Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has angered a lot of Muslims after a recent interview where he said that he is not aware of the situation of Uyghur Muslims in China.
In an interview with Financial Times, when PM Khan was asked about his stance on China's treatment of Uyghur Muslims, he replied saying, "Frankly, I don't know much about that."
China, an important aide of Pakistan, has received global criticism for sending the region's Muslims to mass detention centres. It is said that Chinese authorities have sanctioned the major crackdown of Uyghur Muslims in order to eradicate the religion and its cultural practices.
Khan is known for his voicing his concerns regarding the treatment of Muslims. This prompted many to ask why he did not give a valid comment for the question. Instead, he skirted away saying that he was not aware of the situation.
In the video which has gone viral on social media, when the interviewer pressed him saying that Turkey has always been vocal on its criticism of China, PM Khan again said that while Muslims across the world are going through the 'worst phase', when it comes to China and the Uyghur Muslims, he said, "If I had enough knowledge I would speak about it. It is not so much in the papers." Pakistan has often been described as an 'all-weather friend' by China.
Turkey was the first Muslim majority country to publicly call out China in its treatment to the Muslims in the country. However, other countries, especially Pakistan, have remained silent, states CNN.
Widespread reports stated that the detention centres brainwashed the Muslims into denouncing their religion. The Quint reported that China organised a PR team to talk up the "training centres". The country even organised trips for dignitaries and media to visit the camps. However, EU officials who visited the camps said that the members seem to be giving a dictated and memorised speech.
According to a report by Business Insider, Pakistan foreign ministry's spokesperson Mohammad Faisal spoke in support of the camps and said that many of the members attended them on a voluntary basis. This was reported in January.
The report also states that while Prime Minister Khan was talking to Turkey's TRT World news channel, when he was asked about the Uyghur situation, his response was similar to the answers given in this interview. He had said that he was not aware of the situation.
Instead, he said, "In this doom and gloom which we inherited, the Chinese have been a breath of fresh air for us. They have been extremely helpful to us ... we have these plans of reviving our economy, [and] China is going to play a huge part," reports Business Insider.