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Anger in Gilgit over Chinese arresting Uighur women

Gilgit [Pakistan-occupied Kashmir]: Anger and distress against Chinese is brewing among families in Gilgit-Baltistan following news being received of Uighur women in Xinjiang province being arrested.

Xinjiang’s proximity to Gilgit-Baltistan has seen both of these regions sharing long historical, cultural and family ties. Many Uighurs are married to Gilgit-Baltistan locals. The arrests of Uighur women could be a result of China’s suspicion of their alleged association with Islamist extremists.

An all-party conference was held in Gilgit recently on Chinese transgressions and a demand was made for the immediate release from jail of over fifty Uighur women who had been implicated on false charges of terrorism.

They also demanded imposition of a trade ban against China for a year.

“This demand from Pakistan to free all imprisoned wives of Gilgit Baltistan traders was made to the Chinese government so that friendship between the two countries remains on track,” said a local leader

In order to avoid compromising Chinese sovereignty, Beijing had laid down strict laws for men from Pakistan marrying women living in Chinese territory.

However, in a suppressive and hypocritical move, Beijing clamped down on married women in spite of them following the law.

The life of children and families has also been severely affected.

A child said, “They took away my mother, I miss her very much.”

Gilgit-Baltistan lawmakers had earlier passed a unanimous resolution calling on the Pakistan government to urge China to free the arrested women and facilitate their reunion with their families.

Aggrieved fathers in Gilgit- Baltistan are worried about their children.

Rehbar Khan said, “The lives of families whose ladies have been arrested are destroyed. Their children are suffering, there is no facility for their education, nobody is there to take care of them, and they will have to be raised in maternal homes as we cannot bring them here in Pakistan without their mothers. These children do not have fathers or mothers available to them. We are not allowed to go there and those who had gone there earlier were sent back as their visas didn’t get extended. They give us visas for a month and send us back. Now, you can imagine how a child will be like whose father is here and mother is in jail. They are severely affected, those who were in school, their studies have been affected, those who are infants, their diet are affected. These children have lost all hope in life.”

China has used systematic ways to eradicate the ethnic Uyghur Muslims from Xinjiang, and has now ramped up conspiracies to invade the already illegally occupied territory of Pakistan.

A distressing reality of Chinese oppression has hit Islamabad that has repeatedly declaredd Gilgit- Baltistan as the gateway of China-Pak friendship. The writing on the wall is indicative of a Chinese invasion of Pakistani territories in the name of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).


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