Zardari joins Chinese Muslims to celebrate Eid

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 22:42

Beijing: Pakistani President Asif Ali
Zardari today joined millions of Chinese Muslims in the
troubled Xinjiang province to celebrate Eid.

Zardari, who arrived in northwestern city of Urumqi,
offered his prayer early today at a temporary mosque set up in
the hotel, Pakistani officials said.

Pakistan`s Ambassador to China Masood Khan said Zardari
could have been in Islamabad or Karachi, but he chose to be
here to celebrate the occasion with the people of Xinjiang and
the people of China.

"Eid is very important to Muslims, and it`s celebrated
among relatives and close friends," Khan said, adding, "We
always describe Chinese and Pakistanis as good friends, good
neighbours, but as the president comes here, the relationship
is almost as good relatives because he spent this Eid with the
people of China."

Security was tight in Urumqi. Armed police and an
armoured vehicle guarded the Yindu Hotel where Zardari stayed.
The Pakistani president will deliver a speech at the
first China-Eurasia Expo, which officially opens tomorrow,
expo organisers said.

Xinjiang has over 10 million Muslim Uyghurs and the
province has been witnessing tensions between Uyghurs and
Chinese mainland Hans for the past few years.
About 200 people were killed and hundreds injured in
riots in 2009.

China recently alleged that the leaders of the group of
East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), who took part in the
attacks in Kashghar city, were trained in Pakistan terrorist
training camps.

Ramadan went off without any major incidents in Xinjiang.
Besides Uyghurs, China has over 10 million Muslims in
Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 22:42

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