China has reacted angrily to India's decision to provide a visa to minority Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa to attend a conference in Dharamsala on April 28. Isa, a leader of the World Uyghur Congress, is accused by Beijing of organising terrorist activities in China's Muslim-majority Xinjiang region, home to the ethnic minority Uyghurs, reported The Indian Express. Isa left China in 1997 and was granted asylum in Germany.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the English daily, “What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist on red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries.” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “We have seen media reports and the ministry is trying to ascertain facts.”
The Dalai Lama is also expected to attend the Dharamsala conference, which is being organised by Citizen Power for China, a pro-democracy group whose president, Yang Jianli, took part in the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. The move is being seen as a retaliatory measure by India after China blocked New Delhi's bid to designate Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist at the United Nations.
The Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic group, who consider Xinjiang their home. The region was turned into a Chinese province in 1884 under the Qing dynasty.