The below statement is attributed to the Executive Council of the East Turkistan Government in Exile
This past Friday, an ISIS suicide bomber carried out a heinous and unholy attack against Hazara Muslims at a Shitte mosque in Afghanistan’s Kunduz city.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistani people strongly condemn this evil terrorist attack carried out by ISIS. The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistani people denounce terrorism in all forms, including the ongoing campaign of state terrorism perpetrated by the People’s Republic of China’s Government against East Turkistan and its people.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this evil terrorist attack, especially the Hazara people and all the people of Afghanistan.
In a statement claiming responsibility for this heinous terrorist attack, ISIS-K stated that the attacker was an ethnic Uyghur. Suppose the claims made by ISIS is true. In that case, we see this as a deliberate false flag attack and renewed effort carried out in coordination with the Government of the People’s Republic of China to taint the image of Uyghurs as “terrorists” and undermine the East Turkistan national movement. We also fear this may be a precursor to justify the increasingly highly likely deportation of the Uyghur refugees, not Islamist militants, residing in Afghanistan since the 1950s.
Following the terrorist attack in Kunduz, some media reports are spreading misinformation regarding the nature of the presence of Uyghurs in Afghanistan. Media reports falsely claim that Uyghurs in Afghanistan are part of the so-called “East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).”
Previous media reports by Voice of America, New York Times, BBC, Radio Liberty, and Radio Free Asia, reported 2,000 to 3,000 Uyghurs refugees, the majority of who had fled following the Chinese occupation of East Turkistan in late 1949 and early 1950s, to be residing in Afghanistan.
There is an undeniable presence of several dozen, and possibly hundreds, of Uyghur Islamists, fighting under the banner of the Taliban-affiliated ‘Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP)’ in Afghanistan. However, the so-called “ETIM” which the PRC fabricated does not exist whatsoever.
The People’s Republic of China first fabricated the “ETIM” on 11 November 2001 to falsely portray the East Turkistani national independence movement as part of a “global Islamist movement.” More importantly, the PRC’s fabrication of the “ETIM” provided China with the necessary false pretext of “anti-terrorism” to wage its ongoing campaign of colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.
The United States Government de-listed the so-called “ETIM” back in October 2020 since there is no evidence that such an entity exists. In September 2021, the U.S. Department of State made it very clear that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda affiliated Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) and the so-called “ETIM” are not synonymous.
The East Turkistan Government in Exile and the East Turkistani people suspect the TIP of being a Chinese state-controlled entity under the protection and support of the Taliban, Pakistani ISI, and other malign entities with tight security and intelligence cooperation with the PRC. East Turkistanis worldwide denounce the TIP and strongly suspect that it exists only to serve as a propaganda tool of the Chinese. The TIP serves only to portray a false “terrorist threat to China” to help justify the PRC’s state terrorism, colonization, genocide, and occupation in East Turkistan.
We again want to make it very clear that the East Turkistan issue has nothing to do with sectarian violence, terrorism, or the likes. The people of East Turkistan hold no hostility to any ethnic and religious groups or organizations, entities, and governments other than that of the Government of the People’s Republic of China and its occupation forces engaged in colonization, genocide, state terrorism, and occupation in East Turkistan.
We urge governments, media, organizations, and individuals to be vigilant of the continued malign efforts of the People’s Republic of China to undermine East Turkistan’s struggle to maintain its very existence.
Lastly, we urge the international community to investigate this terrorist attack and uncover its actual perpetrators. We also call on the Taliban regime not to act hastily and make a miscalculated decision to endanger the lives of the innocent Uyghurs in Afghanistan.