Washington [US], Aug 15 (ANI): Prime Minister Salih Hudayar on behalf of the East Turkistan Government in Exile extended its greetings to India on its 74th Independence Day urging Indians to cherish, defend and honour independence.
He said the decades of prolonged Chinese occupation and genocide in East Turkistan has "taught us that without independence there is no way to guarantee or ensure even our most basic human rights."
"On behalf of the people of Occupied East Turkistan, India's northern neighbour, we wish India and its people a Happy Independence Day," said Prime Minister Hudayar in a statement.
"Many people might ask why Independence is so important. Independence means freedom from the control, influence and oppression of others. An independent nation has the power to elect, govern, and make its own laws and decisions freely. Having independence is the most essential thing for a country and its people to develop and prosper," Prime Minister further said.
East Turkistan had lost its independence in December 1949 as a result of the Chinese invasion and for the last 70 years, "our country and our people have been subject to colonisation, Chinese occupation, and genocide".
"The decades of prolonged Chinese occupation and genocide in East Turkistan have taught us that without independence there is no way to guarantee or ensure even our most basic human rights, freedoms, and our very survival," he added.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi's statement of "the future depends on what you do today", Hudayar urged India to protect "its independence at all costs".
"I urge all Indians to cherish, defend, and honour the independence of India at all costs. For as mentioned before, the loss of independence will result in calamities that will lead to the very destruction of a nation. There is no better example of this today than the genocide faced by the Uyghur and other Turkic peoples of Occupied East Turkistan," he said further.
Hudayar previously said that over 3 million people in East Turkistan are currently being held in concentration camps. Mosques and other religious sites have been destroyed.
The Uyghurs, a Turkic-speaking minority from Central Asia, are a distinct ethnic group from Han Chinese, with Urumqi being closer to Kabul than Beijing.
In 2009, the most infamous riots broke out in the streets of Urumqi, Xinjiang which pitted Uyghur Muslims against Han Chinese. The CCP government has turned the entire region into a highly controlled, open-air prison after the Urumqi riots in 2009. (ANI)