New Delhi/Islamabad, June 30: An old video of a Pakistani cleric, saying Chinese companies operating in Pakistan does not allow its Muslim employees to perform namaz during office hours, has re-drawn attention towards the sensitive issue. China is often criticised for expressing religious rights of homegrown Chinese Muslims, especially the Uighur ethnic minorities in its northwestern Xinjiang province. Pakistan PM Imran Khan Mum Over Uighurs Muslims Issue, Says China is a 'Good Friend'.
The video, which surfaced on social media on June 26, showed a Pakistani cleric asking Muslims to stand against Chinese companies' decision to prohibit namaz, one of the five basic tenets of Islam. In the video, the cleric, Mufti Tariq Masood, can be seen urging Pakistanis to be firm and tell the Chinese that in Pakistan "they'll have to follow local laws and the country does not belong to them." "We cannot ignore namaz. People are afraid that they will lose their jobs. But it has now become a matter of self-respect for us," he asserted.
Viral Video of Pakistani Cleric Slamming Chinese Companies For Banning Namaz:
China is known to be an "all-weather" ally of Pakistan but Beijing's handling of issues related to minorities, especially Uighur Muslims, put its ties with Islamabad on thorns. While the Pakistani government always turns blind eye to Beijing's crackdown on Uighur Muslims' rights, the public opinion in Pakistan appears to be against Chinese. If this continues, Beijing will obviously find Pakistan a difficult ally to work with. China Forces Birth Control on Uighurs to Curb Muslim Population.
In a misguided attempt to thwart a terrorism problem that China primarily associates with the country's Muslim Uighur population, the city of Karamay in Xinjiang banned "men with beards and women with Muslim headscarves" from using public transportation. Additionally, the declaration bans people sporting the Islamic star and crescent from using public transport as well.
China's discrimination against Muslims is growing. The domestic consequences of its policies is controversial. However, according to media reports, Beijing, in 2014, publicly spoke with leaders from both Afghanistan and Pakistan about concerns over the Uighurs staging attacks against the Chinese populations.
While the governments in Kabul and Islamabad expressed interest in complying with the Communist Party's request to better monitor their northern borders, China still faces the prospect of alienating the Pakistani and Afghan public with its policies of religious intolerance. (With ANI inputs)