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Pak team in Xinjiang to observe Ramzan

By Imtiaz Ahmad
PUBLISHED ON JUN 30, 2016 08:42 AM IST

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani delegation has left for China to verify media reports that Chinese authorities have banned fasting during the holy month of Ramzan in Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.

China formally requested the Pakistan government to send a delegation to Xinjiang to ascertain the facts regarding the observance of Ramzan in the province, an official of the religious affairs ministry was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

The request was made after an international news agency reported Chinese authorities had outlawed fasting in the region.

The delegation from Pakistan’s religious affairs ministry includes the director general for research and the chief cleric of Islamabad’s Faisal Mosque.

It will stay in Xinjiang for four days and ascertain facts regarding the reported ban. Earlier, it was reported that Chinese authorities marked the start of Ramzan with a customary ban on fasting for civil servants, students and children in Xinjiang.

However, the Chinese government rejected these reports as baseless. Chinese officials said they did not force Muslims in Xinjiang to break their fast during Ramzan because the constitution guarantees religious freedom.

China formally requested the Pakistan government to send a team so that this controversy could be ended, the newspaper reported.

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