The factual Xinjiang Papers (Part-V)
By Makhdoom Babar
President & Editor-in-Chief
In the 2nd leg, the visiting corps of journalists were taken to Altai Prefecture. The Altai or Altay region is located in the northern part of Xinjiang, bordering with Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia with an area of 118,000 kilometers, having six counties and one main city. it is the only region of northwest China that borders with Russia and a very important node city in the Northern Corridor of BRI and in construction of China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor.
From Altay, delegates were driven to Burqin County while on the way a short trip to a huge agricultural facility, a base in the Gobi desert was also arranged where the process of growing Gaubau Kender plants was going on for years, providing job opportunities to thousands of locals and amazing working conditions At Burqin county a detailed visit to largest forest of Popular trees and farms of Honey Melons revealed that the Xinjiang government had made wonderful arrangement and facilitations to natives for growing agricultural products. We found that native Muslims from amongst the local growers very mostly in the field of producing Watermelons, Honeymelons and guava and were very happy and satisfied with the income they were making through the new arrangements and reforms made to enhance their agricultural trade.
And from Burqin, the journey to the little Paradise on earth started, a four-hour drive to Kanas lake, on a road, described as Highway to Heaven by many of the fellow journalists. The area features golden signs of clean air, clean land and clean water.
The air quality throughout the year remains at national level standard 1 and is known as “ Natural Oxygen Bar”. The soil is of excellent quality, unpolluted and organic. It is one of the six forest regions of China and largest natural forest region of Xinjiang. but above all, it is really a tourists’ paradise enjoying natural beauty, much more than that of Switzerland with all the modern facilities, available throughout the year. it has a number of mesmerizing scenic spots, mainly along with Kanas River and the Kanas Lake is the ultimate spot.
It was really amazing to see that totally contrary to non-factual news, orchestrated by Western media, locals from Muslim ethnic groups were the main beneficiaries of the booming tourism business in this part of Xinjiang. Different Muslim ethnic groups were dominating the tourism business as they were the ones that were running roadside-restaurants, traditional Cafes, designer restaurants, hotels, Motels, rent-a-car services, souvenir shops and what not. When we were travelling in these areas and seeing local Muslim families dominating all the major business activities, particularly related to the hospitality Industry, we all were looking at the faces of each other, recalling the Western media news that were depicted that Xinjiang had been made a living hell for local Muslims and they were reduced to sort of concentration camps. All of the visiting journalists were feeling so ashamed even from each other, realizing that what certain journalists from the West had been doing to the sacred profession of journalism.
Kazakh Muslims, Tajik Muslims, Uygur Muslims, Hui Muslims, Han Muslims , Kygyz muslims etc, almost all of them were having the best of their lives and doing tremendous business with utmost religious freedom and social liberties. Until the last month, over 10 million local and international tourists thronged this part of Xinjiang and this was double than the number of visiting tourists a year back. These stats proved 2 things very clearly. One, that after the peace was fully restored, Xinjiang had become the hub of tourism and 2nd, the families and individuals attached with hospitality Industry, of course mostly native Muslims, were making huge financial gains through flourishing tourism sector and boom of tourists to Xinjiang.
Mahmoud Diab of Daily Al-Ahram of Egypt, was of the firm opinion that the number of tourists was crystal clearly the reflection of the fact that there was no law and order situation anymore in Xinjiang as the tourists number always tumble down dramatically when the tourist spot experience such situations. “ in Egypt, when the law and order situation deteriorated, the number of tourists to all our tourists spots dipped down suddenly”, Mahmuod asserted, sharing his domestic experience. he also opined that the personal economies of locals, engaged in.
From Kanas lake we travelled to Hemo village, another little Paradise on earth, here again we witnessed that all tourism related business was being run by locals of different Muslim Ethnic Groups.
Read more tomorrow…