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    (File) In this Nov. 2, 2017 photo, a police personnel holding shield and baton guards a security post leading into a center believed to be used for re-education in Korla in western China's Xinjiang region

    Beijing Wrongfully Arresting Chinese Women Married to Pakistani Men - Reports

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    Asia & Pacific
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    The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) legislative assembly recently passed a resolution accusing China of wrongfully arresting women from Xinjiang province who are married to men belonging to GB – Pakistan’s northernmost administrative territory. The resolution was tabled by lawmaker Bibi Salima.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Leaders from Gilgit-Baltistan which shares a border with China's Xinjiang province in the east have called upon the federal government to contact authorities in Beijing for the release of fifty women who are currently being held in Chinese jails. These women are Chinese nationals married to Pakistani men from Gilgit Baltistan.

    According to news reports in Pakistani publications, marriages between men and women from GB and Xinjiang are common as the two areas are interconnected by trade and traditions. Chinese women married to GB men often travel to their homeland in Xinjiang to visit their relatives. However, in the last few months, Chinese authorities have started arresting these women suspecting them of having ties to religious extremist groups accused of unleashing terror in the region.

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    "Many of these women were arrested on suspicion of their links to religious extremist groups when the Chinese government launched a crackdown on elements involved in religiously-motivated acts of terrorism in Xinjiang province. But none of these women have been found to be involved in acts of terrorism in China," Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly Deputy Speaker Jaffarullah Khan was quoted by The Dawn. 

    "I condemn it. After marriage they have every right to stay with their husbands — this is only a start. With CPEC a lot worse will happen. These women must be returned to Gilgit-Baltistan so that they can live with their husbands," Dr. Shabir Choudhry, Chairman of South Asia Watch told Sputnik. 

    Relations between China and Gilgit Baltistan are currently going through a rough patch with locals protesting against China's major infrastructure project — the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which passes through this swathe of land.

     People of #GB are adamantly against #CPEC that does not compensate locals economically so as to move them from their property. @mmatalpur pic.twitter.com/GJRc263H8v

    The people of Gilgit Baltistan see CPEC as a threat not only to the environment and ecology of the region but also to their socio-economic fabric. The locals fear that CPEC will facilitate a massive inflow of migrants from different provinces of Pakistan, thus reducing the status of the native inhabitants to that of a minority.


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