Pakistan says no ban on fasting in China

Tasnim says Chinese respect freedom of religion

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said that there is no ban on fasting in China and reports published in a section of press in this regard are just rumours and baseless.

Replying to a question about the reports that the Chinese government has banned fasting for Muslims, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam informed journalists that these reports were just rumours and factually incorrect. “The Chinese have clarified that there is no such ban on fasting and that they respect the freedom of religion,” she said.

The spokesperson further said the Chinese government has also clarified that they have guidelines in their system under which religious activities should not interfere with the state functions. About Pakistani prisoners in China, the spokesperson said that Pakistan has not received any report that Pakistani prisoners were not properly treated.

Referring to previous statements, she said there were 281 Pakistani prisoners in Chinese prisons and 90% of them are detained or convicted on drugs/narcotics smuggling and illegal trade charges. She said one of these prisoners has been detained on murder charges and others in cases like illegal stay/over stay, illegal entry and fraud etc. There are 33 prisoners in Beijing, 95 in Urumqi, nine in Chengdu, 100 in Guangzhou, 22 in Shanghai and 22 in some other detention centres, she added.

On a question on recent escalation of violence in Gaza, the spokesperson said Pakistan had condemned Israeli aggression and supported the international community's efforts in bringing about a cessation of unilateral Israeli strikes killing Palestinians, including women and children. "Pakistan has consistently supported the Palestinian cause, specially the two-state solution which paves the way for a viable, geographically contiguous Palestinian state, created on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital,” she said.

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