Voice of America (VoA) reported on March 5, 2018 that China has allegedly detained dozens of Muslim women in its restive Xinjiang province for marrying men of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region. The issue was addressed in a unanimously passed resolution of the legislative assembly of the Gilgit-Baltistan region and revealed by Pakistani lawmakers on March 4. The resolution demands the Pakistani government take urgent steps to secure the release of more than 50 Chinese wives, who it says were taken into custody last year while they were visiting relatives in their native towns in Xinjiang. The Deputy Speaker of the Assembly was quoted as saying the women were rounded up during a Chinese anti-terrorism crackdown on the ethnic Uighur Muslin community in Xinjiang. The detainees are married to GB men who are mostly associated with trading activity through the Khunjerab Pass, the only land route linking Pakistan and China, about 4,500 meters above sea level. Regional lawmakers insisted the history of intermarriages between GB and Xinjiang is decades old, and both the border regions share deep cultural ties. They asserted the detained Chinese women were innocent and had no links to any radical elements. Chinese and Pakistani federal officials have not immediately offered any reaction to the allegations leveled in the resolution.

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