Pakistan to raise Rohingya issue at UN, OIC (Dawn (Pakistan))

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will write to the United Nations secretary general and the president of the UN Security Council, inviting their attention to the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar and seeking the intensification of diplomatic and moral pressure on the government of Myanmar to grant adequate citizenship rights to the Rohingya community, in accordance with international humanitarian laws.

Simultaneously, the PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will write to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) secretary general and would propose the creation of a special OIC fund to provide food and other assistance to Rohingya Muslims that have left Myanmar as well as those who are still living in that country. An earlier letter was sent by the adviser on May 20.

The decision was taken in line with the recommendations of a high-profile committee, formed by the PM to propose measures to mitigate the suffering of Muslims in Myanmar.

The committee consists of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Sartaj Aziz and PM’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatemi and met on June 7 to draw up a set of recommendations.

Senate resolution condemns ‘genocide abetted by extremists’ in Myanmar

In addition, Pakistan is expected to propose the establishment of a three-member Committee of OIC Foreign Ministers to travel to Myanmar to impress upon the government of Myanmar to restore the fundamental rights of the marginalised community so they could live peacefully and without fear of persecution.

The Committee had also decided that a special grant of $5 million worth of food would be channelled through the World Food Programme for distribution in Rohingya camps in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand should be announced as Pakistan’s contribution towards Rohingyas.

The approval of the recommendations coincided with the unanimous adoption of a resolution in the Senate, urging the government to immediately take up the matter with the United Nations secretary general and coordinate with all other governments in the region and elsewhere for the protection of Rohingyas’ rights, in addition to approaching the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Taking cognisance of the grave crimes against humanity being systematically committed against Rohingya Muslims at the behest of the government of Myanmar, which is aided and abetted in this heinous campaign by groups of religious extremists in that country, the senate of Pakistan strongly condemns these crimes and killings which are tantamount to a genocide against a peaceful community, who are being persecuted on grounds of race and religion, said the resolution, read out by PML-Q Secretary General Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed.

The resolution said that Rohingyas were being pushed into the sea, their houses burnt and demolished, their women raped and their men and children butchered as part of an organised campaign of ethnic cleansing. It also highlighted that they were being denied their fundamental rights as nationals of a country where they had been residing for centuries.

This is an issue of humanity, not merely one religion or ethnic group, and the international community as a whole must take firm and urgent notice of these serious and unprecedented violations of human rights since these are also a violation of the United Nations Charter, the UN declaration of human rights, all international laws and covenants including the Convention on Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the Convention Against Torture, the resolution said.

The Senate observed that the actions of Myanmar government were a gross violation of established human rights norms since these violations exhibit a consistent and persistent pattern.