Pakistani national becomes a victim of Chinese aggression, wife-son detained for being Uyghurs
Pakistani national Sakandar Hayat's life was turned upside down in recent months when his wife and son were detained by Chinese security officials as they are Uyghurs.
When Hayat and his son Arafat were staying in Pakistan for weeks then at that time they received a phone call from Xinjiang, the controversial region in China where hundreds of Uyghur Muslims are believed to have been kept in re-education camps.
Hayat’s wife, an ethnic Uyghur, had been detained. He and Arafat raced to the border, where Chinese police were waiting. They arrested Arafat, a Uyghur like his mother, saying he would be questioned on what he had done in Pakistan, reports Los Angeles Times.
“Don’t separate us,” Hayat begged the police as quoted by the newspaper. “Question him in front of me. I’ll be silent and he will speak the truth.”
“You’ll have your son back in a week,” the police told him that day in 2017.
Arafat would be lost to him for two years.
Hayat was been reportedly denied a visa to China for two years.
The couple’s two daughters, who were 7 and 12 at the time, were sent to an orphanage in Kashgar without his consent, reported Los Angeles Times.
Hayat is one of the hundreds of Pakistanis who have suffered from China’s suppression of Muslims in the Xinjiang territory that is home to about 10 million ethnic Uighurs (also spelled as Uyghurs), reports the American newspaper.
Increasingly, China’s campaign against Uighurs has spilled across its borders, entangling men such as Hayat, a Pakistani garment trader who, with his wife, raised three children while trapped between the politics and ambitions of two countries, the newspaper reported.
Hayat’s saga reflects how Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s hard-line vision of crushing dissent extends beyond the consolidation of power at home to blocking criticism from foreign governments, even when their own citizens are mistreated, reports Los Angeles Times.
The silence of Pakistan, which has been outspoken on the oppression of Muslims across the world but has refrained from criticizing China — a major economic benefactor and potential provider of COVID-19 vaccines — reflects how many nations are wary of jeopardizing their ties to Beijing, the newspaper reported.