Friday, April 21, 2006

News from Xinjiang

Motor Rally.
Plans are underway for a motor rally from Urumqi to Lahore to be held in September this year, according to Hashim Khan, managing director of Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation.
Read more here

Many dead in R.T.A. in Aksu Prefecture
A traffic accident has killed seven people and seriously injured another two Thursday afternoon in the Aksu Prefecture of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local traffic authorities said on Friday.
The accident took place at about 1 p.m. on a highway in Aksu, when three motor vehicles collided each other, killing four people on the spot.

Another three people died on the way to a local hospital. The collision also left two passengers seriously injured, according to local traffic authorities.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.
source here

China wants the Uighurs of Guantanamo

The Chinese foreign ministry has called on the US government to repatriate Uighur prisoners held in its Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

"We hope the American side would repatriate the terrorists of the Chinese citizens,"
said Qin Qang, a foreign ministry spokesman, on Thursday.

"Terrorism is the enemy of humankind. East Turkestan is a part of the international terrorist force and casts a serious threat to international societies including China and the US."

US officials say they cannot send Uighur prisoners back to China because it is likely they will be tortured or killed.
source here

Cross your fingers if you’re an Uighur
Joseph K. in The Trial could not have found himself in a more terrifyingly ludicrous situation. But while the protagonist in Kafka’s novel never gets to know why he was picked up one day by mysterious officials and arrested, Abu Bakker Qassim and A’del al-Hakim at least know why they have been held captive since June 2002: they were mistaken to be enemy combatants on Pakistan. Muslim names, picked up from the Pakistan-Afghan border and mistaken for enemy combatants? Now, how far can the US War Against Terror be from this story? Not far, considering the two hapless Uighurs — ethnically Turkic Muslims mainly from China’s Xinjiang province — are stuck between a rock and a hard place in a spot called Guantanamo Bay.

Mistaking Uighurs roaming around in Pakistan with ‘suspicious’ names is not half as bad as not letting them go despite there being no charges against them. The bizarre climax is that the US administration can’t let them return to Xinjiang because they are touchingly ‘fearful’ that the two will (also) be persecuted by Chinese authorities — who incidentally like ‘funny sounding’ names even less than the Americans.

So what about letting them stay on in the land of milk and honey? No siree, no can do for security/immigration reasons (read: ‘funny sounding’ names from that part of the world). So any takers for Mr Qassim and Mr al-Hakim, two men waiting in limbo who can neither go back home nor ‘legally’ be held in the happy home-halfway house that is Guantanamo Bay? Surely, some sense of camaraderie and courtesy is forthcoming from their Muslim brethren from any of the many Islamic States? Did someone say the blighted Uighurs had been picked up from Pakistan? Hmm...
source here


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