Rohingyas attract global focus

INTERNATIONAL pressure on Myanmar heightened this week after United Nations rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said the violence seemed to be a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. The United States also raised alarm over the violence while the Security Council announced it would discuss the crisis. Opprobrium has been heaped on Aung San Suu Kyi, who was once a darling of the rights community but now faces accusations of turning a blind eye to – and even abetting – a humanitarian catastrophe by Western powers.
It is commendable that the OIC summit on Science and Technology, which concluded at Astana on Monday, also took serious notice of the grave human rights violations of Rohingyas. Pakistan has been in the forefront of diplomatic efforts aimed at pressurising Myanmar junta to shun the repressive policies in Rakhine State and that is why the OIC member states authorised Islamabad to speak for them at the platform of Human Rights Council at Geneva where Ambassador Farukh Amil drew attention of the global community towards reports of unprecedented level of violence including widespread killings, rape, burning of houses and unabated xenophobic and racial hatred perpetrated on Rohingya Muslim population, including women and children, describing it as ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. We hope the world would speak loudly from the forum of UN Security Council as well despite concerns that after India, China too has come to the rescue of Myanmar, which stood isolated globally because of its unending genocide of Rohingyas, forcing 370,000 of them to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. China and India might have commercial, economic and strategic interests in Myanmar besides New Delhi’s general apathy and callousness towards Muslims but both Beijing and New Delhi must realise that by supporting Myanmar they would be doing injustice to a hapless community. Instead of shielding atrocities of Myanmar, they should use their good offices to help stop brutalities of official forces in Myanmar against Rohingyas. The UN should send a fact-finding mission to Rakhine State and persuade the Myanmar Government to allow necessary humanitarian access for the Rohingya Muslim population. Steps should also be taken for provision of relief to Rohingya refugees and their repatriation and rehabilitation to their homeland in a safe environment.

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