Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s muted response, when asked about the ongoing crackdown of Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region, has become the butt of social media jokes. The Pakistan PM said that he didn’t know much about the issue (detention camps in Xinjiang), when quizzed by a reporter in Davos about his thoughts on the alleged internment of approximately 1.5 million Uyghurs in the so-called re-education camps.
Imran was attending the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort town, where he also delivered an address and gave interviews to several media organisations, including Deutsche Welle and Foreign Policy among other American and European organisations.
According to German anthropologist and Xinjiang expert Adrian Zenz, at least 1.5 million Uyghurs are lodged in the state-operated “re-education centres.” Nearly 500,000 of those are said to be minors.
"At the moment I do not know enough about it... I'm afraid I do not know about it," said Khan, according to a video of the exchange shared by a Pakistan journalist.
In fact, Khan has maintained a consistent stand in not criticising Beijing for their treatment of the Uyghur minorities in the region, even as he has been viewed as being raising hackles in New Delhi for consistently bringing up India’s recent decisions to modify Article 370 and amend the Citizenship Act.
New Delhi has repeatedly castigated the Pakistan Prime Minister for weighing on matters “internal” to India.
The curtailment of freedoms of Uighur Muslims in China was also brought up during Khan’s interview with Deutsche Welle at Davos. Imran again refused to condemn Beijing, a major benefactor of the cash-crippled Pakistani economy.