ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is going to raise the issue of the persecution of Rohingya Muslims at international forums by mobilising the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as well as the United Nations.
A high-profile special cabinet committee looking into the issue sent its recommendations to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz and PM’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi recommend that Pakistan must prioritise the protection of Rohingya Muslims in its engagement with Myanmar.
“We have sent our recommendations to the premier for approval,” Aziz told The Express Tribune. “After his approval, we shall release them to the media on Monday (today).”
Pakistan has consistently expressed its deep concern over the plight of the ethnic minority community in Myanmar.
“The current displacement of a large number of Muslims, who are adrift on boats in the Indian Ocean without access to food and drinking water, is worrisome,” the Foreign Office said in an official statement.
An official familiar with the gist of the recommendations disclosed that “Islamabad will urge the OIC, the collective voice of the Muslim world, to raise the issue again during the Council of Foreign Ministers session to evolve a common position among the member states”.
“Pakistan should appeal to the UN, the OIC, the Muslim world and the regional powers not to close their eyes to this genocide,” Nisar was quoted as saying during the maiden meeting on Sunday.
The minister also cautioned the international community that the level of atrocities and the scale of oppression of the hapless Muslims in that part of the world would nullify the recent efforts for addressing the grievances of the Muslims to dissuade their youth from falling into the hands of militants.
Pakistan has already supported the OIC resolution titled ‘The Situation of the Muslim Community in Myanmar’, which was presented to the Council of Foreign Ministers last month in Kuwait.
In a statement, Nisar said the inaction of the international community and criminal silence of the proponents of human rights and organisations over the gross violations of the rights of Rohingya Muslims raises serious questions about the utility and effectiveness of international forums.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2015.