INTERNATIONAL DESK: Taliban insurgents have told China that the shadowy Uyghur Islamic group that Beijing has used as justification for increasingly harsh rule over the Muslim ethnic minority in its far-western Xinjiang region is not present in Afghanistan and won’t be allowed to return.
China often brands Uyghur activists in exile as members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and cites the threat of terrorism to discredit the minority group’s campaign to raise awareness of widespread rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), reports Radio Free Asia.
The Uyghurs fear that China will impose harsh treatment towards XUAR after Afghanistan was captured by Taliban insurgents following the exit of foreign forces.
It is believed by experts that China have held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a vast network of internment camps since early 2017.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman in Qatar, said that ETIM members are no longer in Afghanistan because “the Taliban has categorically told them that there is no place for anyone to use Afghanistan against other countries, including its neighboring countries,” China’s state-run Global Times newspaper said in an account of an interview published Thursday as quoted by RFA.
The warning to the ETIM meant that those “who are intending to carry out sabotage activities in other countries or have their foreign agenda” would not be able to remain in the country, Shaheen was quoted as saying. (Just Earth News)