In a first, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shed light on the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China, while expressing gratitude to Beijing for the assistance it provided after Pakistan faced extreme devastation due to floods.
Taking to its Twitter handle on Friday, Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu wrote: “MoFA Pakistan is thankful for Chinese aid and support for flood reconstruction. We will work closely on matters of mutual interests including Rights & Freedom of Uyghurs community.”
MoFA Pakistan is thankful for Chinese aid and support for flood reconstruction.
We will work closely on matters of mutual interests including Rights & Freedom of Uyghurs community. — Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu (@PakinChengdu) January 13, 2023
However, Pakistan bringing the Uyghur crisis to light should be taken with a pinch of salt, according to the country’s foreign office. Later on Friday, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said that the official Twitter handle of its consulate located in the Chinese city of Chengdu had been “hacked.”
It further urged people to not fall for any statements made by the account. “As of today, any tweet or message issued from this account is not made by the Pakistan consulate general Chengdu nor does it reflect the position of the government of Pakistan,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch.
The Twitter account of the Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu, China @PakinChengdu has been hacked.
As of today, any tweet or message issued from this account is not made by the Pakistan Consulate General Chengdu nor does it reflect the position of the Government of Pakistan. — Spokesperson 🇵🇰 MoFA (@ForeignOfficePk) January 13, 2023
Pak embassies and consulates face hacking of Twitter accounts
Meanwhile, the social media accounts of Pakistani consulates being hacked is not a rare occurrence. Last year, the official Twitter handle of the Pakistani consulate in Afghanistan’s Kandahar was hacked. According to Dawn, the hacked account shared tweets urging the Afghan government to take action against Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.
In December 2021, Pakistan’s embassy in Serbia experienced its Twitter account being hacked, with those behind the cyberattack sharing tweets that targeted former prime minister Imran Khan for skyrocketing inflation and alleged non-payment of dues for a period of three months.