Xinjiang begins to blossom again with peace and stability


URUMQI: Once a violence gripped part of China, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, a historic part of the country, full cultural heritage and social diversity, enriched with flowers, fruits and vegetables and having a comprehensive inter-faith harmony environment, Xingjian has started to blossom fully again and the life from Urumqi to Kashgar and from Altai to Kanas has once again worn attractive colours with people intoxicated with love, happiness and harmony with both Central Xinjinag recently with Xinjiang Foreign Office officials being the hosts. The delegation was thrilled to travel deep down in the naturally mysterious land of Xinjiang and to see the facts that were distortedly told to them by Western Media sources and certain Western governments’ propaganda machineries to twist arm of China for its leadership’s vision about development through Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Visit to Kashgar by the international delegation itself was a crystal clear proof that the Chinese government but instead they had a lot to show with pride and honor. Upon reaching Kashgar, the delegation was very pleasantly surprised that to receive them at the airport was and elegant lady who was the top official, in fact Deputy Commissioner of Kashgar Prefecture. Being a lady a Deputy Commissioner of a Prefecture in China was obviously not a matter of surprise but what surprised them was that the lady Deputy Commissioner was from the Muslim Ethnic minority. After listening to the Western propaganda that only depicted that Xinjiang had been turned into a hell for Muslims by Chinese authorities, no one was expecting that the Western Propaganda will start to get exposed as a fizz right in the beginning. The first expression on the faces of all the delegations members was a clear but pleasant surprise. The Muslim Deputy Commissioner took the delegation to the Kashgar old city that actually comprises business outlets and residences of Uyghur Muslim ethnic group. The way these Uyghurs had been provided with the new accommodations and shops by the local authorities as the previous ancient Kashgar city had caved in, one was touched with the approach of Chinese government to give maximum possible facilities to all citizens on the basis of equality, irrespective of their ethnicity or religious faith following. At the same time there was immense anger amongst the delegation members about the Western media and Western government officials who had constantly been putting completely wrong picture with comprehensively distorted facts.
When the delegation reached the Eidgah Mosque, the most famous, biggest and ancient Mosque of Xinjiang with a very rich historic background, the termination of Western propaganda reached its peak. About this Eidgah Mosque, the media reports, emerging from West and India had been claiming that this Mosque was sealed and declared prohibited for prayers offering with some reports even suggesting that the Mosque was completely erased by Chinese authorities. Some Western Media houses even went on to show some fabricated satellite images of the debris of this mosque and those of ground zero. Some delegation members, including this author, who had seen this mosque almost a decade ago and were very disturbed after going through the Western media propaganda reports, went extremely jubilant to see that the mosque was very much there, in fact with a rather improved infrastructure and local Muslims coming to offer prayers and non-Muslim tourists visiting the place to see the historic building and its compound. This scribe even found the old shops, adjacent to the mosque from where the shopping was done back in 2006 and also met the same shopkeeper, Mamtay.

When asked a few questions about life of Muslims in Kashgar and elsewhere in Xinjiang in the background of Western Media report, Mamtay first bursted a big laughter and then said” You can see with your own eyes, the mosque is still there, I am still doing the same business and my shop, you can see has more stuff to offer which means my business had improved since you met me last in 2006 on the eve of Kashgar International Trade and Commodities Fair. You tell me what do you think after seeing this?” questioned Mamtay. He said that many foreigners including foreign media persons had been visiting his shop and buying musical instruments and other gifts from his shops and saying lot of good things about Kashgar and Muslims and others of this city. “But I am hearing from you that they have been reporting like if we are being treated badly or being put in some concentration camps, Asr prayer with some local Muslims at the Eidgah Mosque.

Since, I had been covering Kashgar International Trade and Commodities Fair for almost three consecutive years. Back in decade of 2000, I was very familiar to many places and restaurants of Kashgar city, including the hotel where arrangements were made for the stay of delegation, the Kashi Hotel.

When I last stayed at this hotel, the property was located on the outskirts of the city and was surrounded by agricultural farmlands. But not anymore, now the hotel had become the middle of the city and is surrounded by latest and advanced building and new blocks of the hotel are also constructed with latest technology and keeping the global norms of hospitality industry.

It was just one proof that how the Chinese government increased the infrastructural development of the city that was portrayed as a war-hit and devastated destination. I also found latest shopping malls and plazas full of foreign and local tourists with lot of new hotels offering variety of packages to tourists. There was also a wonderful nightlife to cater the needs of party animals with scores of discos and bistros etc.

In the morning, delegation was taken to the “Detention Centers”, as described by Western Media. These actually turned out to be state of the art vocational institutes where hundreds of boys and girls, belonging to Muslims ethnic groups were being given education and training to get skill for becoming useful members of the society and to earn bread and butter for themselves and their families with dignity and honor.

They were having air-conditioned classroom as well as boarding, fully equipped with latest technology. They were given access to every facility like mobile phones, internet connections and apps like Wechat, yahoo etc. They were also having all sports facilities while the head of the institute was also from Muslim community. The expression of joy and satisfaction was visible on the faces of these young boys and girls at these vocational Centers- described as Concentration Camps and what not by Western Media- were more than enough to have a clear understanding that the inmates of these “ Torture cells” were much more happy, satisfied and privileged by any of those of their age groups, living in Chicago, Huston, London Frankfurt or Paris and were set and poised to become far more effective members of the society in future if compared with their Western counterparts. They were learning singing, use of musical instruments, repairing computers, designing websites and what not. For female students, there were additional classes for learning the arts of stitching, skincare and hair styling, fashion designing etc. These were the scenes that were clearly reflective of as to how much care and focus Chinese government had paid to these youngsters of Muslims community and how concerned Chinese leadership was to secure them from falling into the hands of global mercenaries like Daesh, TTP etc who were easily using the Muslim youth to carry our terror and sabotage by brainwashing them in the name of religion and believe me, the Chinese authorities had so far done it with immense success and thoughtfulness.

From here, we were taken to a Kindergarten school where little kids belonging to Muslim ethnic group were being taken care of by highly educated teachers, including officials from Education department and other official establishment due to their skills in English. They were picked up for these jobs particularly to give English language skills to these Daisies and Lillis at very early age so that they could compete at international levels with ease, pride and comfort. An old friend Qadeer, a local Muslim resident, when met at hotel over cup of coffee in the night informed me that China had for years adopted a culture of working couples. However, in Xinjiang, the concept of working couples, particularly amongst the Muslim ethnic groups could not get that much popularity and that was why the women from this community were not that much effective in economies of their families and were also falling behind socially with primary and mostly the only duty of looking after the young kids.
He further informed that a few years back, Chinese government took the initiative and started engaging women folks of this community and provided them with free of cost Kindergarten facilities where their kids were taken care off from 8 in the morning till 6 in the evening with provision of three meals- again free of cost, places to have nap and the required education.
Qadeer further said that his 4 year old son was also now at one such Kindergarten and now his wife was helping him at his saloon and she had established a ladies section at the saloon and their income had gone at least three times more than what it was some 5 years back. He also informed that government had contributed financially to rebuild his old house and now he was having a brand new house, very close to the kindergarten of his son and was also growing fruit and vegetables in the outer and inner lawns of his home to have additional income by selling those fruits and vegetables. The officials at the Kindergarten also informed that since the government had introduced highly lucrative packages for teaching at these Kindergartens that a lot of people from all over China were flooding to Xinjiang to take up this profession.
The delegation also paid visit to mammoth Kashgar University which was a high school till few years back. Lot of students, including those from Muslim ethnic groups were having admission at this University. University management is planning to start many new courses with international collaboration and to introduce International students exchange programs in near future.
Back at Urumqi, the delegation paid a visit to the new and state of the art building and Mosque of Islamic Institute. This is an almost 3 decades old organization, engaged in promotion of Islamic Education and research on Islam. Since the delegations reached there at the time of Asr prayer, the mosque was soon filled by the Muslim students, researcher and faculty who had come to offer prayer. After the prayer, some student sat down in a corner to recite Holy Quran and to get more lessons of Quran from their teachers, making the mockery of the Western propaganda that Quran has been forbidden in China and that Muslims of Xinjiang were not allowed to hold, possess or recite from Holy Quran. The Imam of the mosque at the Institute had detailed discussions with the Muslim Clerics from Pakistan and Bangladesh, representing different schools of thoughts and made them more than satisfied regarding the religious freedom for Muslims and other minorities in China and particularly in Xinjiang.
The visit ended in a grand dinner hosted by Yuan Jianmin of China Merchents Group along with officials of Xinjiang Foreign Office and Information department. Everybody from amongst the delegation had come to the conclusion that the Western Media Propagation was nothing else but a farcical bid to counter Chinese leadership’s Belt and Road Initiative and since Xinjiang was the most important area of the BRI, playing vital role in connectivity with Central Asia, Pakistan and West, it was chosen by Western powers and their media allies to made it gripped first by organized violence and once Chinese government managed to overpower the menace, they opted to for media bashing of China under fake garb of Human Rights violations and anti-Muslim stories.