In the latest round of verbal slaps between France and Muslim countries:

France’s foreign ministry has demanded Pakistan authorities withdraw comments made by one of its ministers that President Emmanuel Macon was treating Muslims like Nazis had treated Jews in World War 2.

The comments posted on Twitter by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari on Saturday came as part of a clash between Pakistan and France over the publication of images of the Prophet Mohammad by a French magazine. The images have sparked anger and protests in the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan.

“Macron is doing to Muslims what the Nazis did to the Jews - Muslim children will get ID numbers (other children won’t) just as Jews were forced to wear the yellow star on their clothing for identification,” Mazari said in a tweet linking to an online article. [...]

I'm curious if in comparison, has Pakistan, in particular its Federal Ministry for Human Rights, condemned China's treatment of Muslims and in what terms?

The latter was condemned by 39, mostly Western countries at the UN. Some 50 other countries including Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba backed a counter-declaration calling China's "re-education" camps for Muslims a legitimate tool in combating terrorism. It's unclear to me if Pakistan sided with either of these declarations.

According to the Indian WION TV station (which I'm not sure how reliable it is with regard to claims about Pakistan or China), China has protested to the Pakistani government the way its treatment of Muslims has been portrayed... by the Pakistani English-speaking media, even though, according to the same source the Pakistani government itself has been "silent" on the matter, according to WION. I could not immediately find confirmation of these claims in Western media.

On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal did publish and opinion piece on a 2019 speech of Pakistan's PM to the UN, noting the absence of any criticism toward China:

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s foreign-policy agenda carries a contradiction at its heart. Mr. Khan seeks to project himself as a global defender of Islam, but he won’t utter a peep about one of the most egregious persecutions of Muslims: China’s repression of Xinjiang’s Uighurs and its project to Sinicize Islam.

In New York last week, Mr. Khan laid out his vision in a rambling 50-minute address to the United Nations General Assembly. He defended the right of Muslim women in the West to don the hijab. “A woman can take off her clothes in [some] countries, but she can’t put on more clothes,” he said. He declared that “there is no such thing as radical Islam,” only “one Islam and that is the Islam we follow of Prophet Muhammad.”

The prime minister blamed the rise of “Islamophobia” on some “people in the West who deliberately provoked this,” in part by writing novels such as Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses.” He warned that “marginalizing Muslim communities” in Europe “leads to radicalization.” He asked the West to treat the prophet “with sensitivity” akin to how it approaches the Holocaust.

In that speech and also in a 2020 speech Khan also lambasted India for its treatment of Muslims "calling India a state sponsor of hatred and prejudice against Islam", according to AP, which also noted that

Despite Khan’s outcry at the treatment of Muslims worldwide, Pakistan has not criticized China’s assault on its Muslim minority Uighur population.

But that still leaves the possibility that Pakistan's other governmental institutions may have said something about the situation in China. The question is: did they, in particular the Federal Ministry for Human Rights, say anything about the situation of Muslims in China?

  • Is this a reliable newspaper? independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/…
    – Gary 2
    Nov 22, 2020 at 15:31
  • @Gary2: to me it is reliable enough (interesting that it's news from Sep 2018--soon after the election of the Khan gov't. The paper also described it as a significant foreign-policy development.) Nov 22, 2020 at 15:36

2 Answers 2


(Thanks to Gary 2 for finding this piece of news)

Pakistan was reported to have raised concerns with China in Sep 2018 when its minister for religious affairs, Noorul Haq Qadri (of the then recently elected Khan government)

met Chinese envoy Yao Xing this week to discuss the situation of the Uighurs in China's western Xinjiang province

Alas the media reports on the meeting (I've seen) have direct quotes from NGOs like HRW, but not from the Pakistani-government side itself, although these have been paraphrased e.g. as

Pakistan is urging China to ease pressures on the country's Muslim minority

and accompanied by the AP-originating commentary

Analysts say Pakistan's move is significant amid growing pressure on China over human rights violations.

A few media stories carried a watering-down from China as to what may been said in that meeting though

Asked about the reports of Pakistan expressing concern to China, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing that Pakistan upheld China's efforts for promoting religious progress.

"China's Ambassador to Pakistan held a meeting with the Religious Affairs Minister of Pakistan and had exchange of opinions. Pakistan upholds China's efforts in promoting religious progress.

"Some foreign media had distorted and misrepresented that event. We express strong opposition," Geng said.


Listen to the following interview from 22:57:

Ines Pohl: "Mr. Prime Minister, you were quite critical about the reception of the world regarding Kashmir and India. when it comes to China and the Uighurs, you are not really very critical about this issue. why is that? I mean you really kind of like to stress the fact that that you see yourself as a bridge-builder in the Muslim world. Why are you not more outspoken about the situation of the Uighurs in China?"

Imran Khan: "Well, two reasons really.

"Number one: you cannot even the scale of what is happening next door in India you cannot compare that to what has happened what is supposed to be happening to the Uighur community in China. I mean just look at the scale eight million people in Kashmir are in an open prison for five months. so hence I speak about that.

"Number two: 200 million Muslims right now in India with the citizen act what we fear is the disenfranchisement of these people, you know remember that in 1935 when the nazis started the pogrom against the jews first they had the registration act. similarly, in Myanmar, they first started a registration act of Muslims and then started the ethnic cleansing from the Rohingya Muslims. so this is the first step and hence that is my number one. I mean, it is the scale of the problem is so huge that's why I talk about it.

"But, there's a second reason too.

"China has been a great friend to Pakistan. China has helped us in our most difficult time again because of the crisis we inherited the economic crisis so the way we deal with china is that when we talk about things we talk about privately we do not talk about things with china in public right now because they're very sensitive that's how they deal with issues."

Also, watch the following interview from 3:20:

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