Pakistan received full support in an OIC meeting at the UN, where Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi proposed taking the plight of Rohingya Muslim to the UN Secretary General (UNSG).
Maleeha Lodhi was speaking at an OIC Ambassadorial-level meeting on the Rohingya Muslims. Pakistans Permanent Representative proposed that a delegation of the OIC countries should apprise Secretary General Ban ki Moon about the sentiments of its members about the issue.
Dr Maleeha Lodhi also proposed that the recent resolution on the Rohingya Muslims adopted at a Ministerial meeting of the OIC should be sent to the President of the Security Council, with the request to have it circulated as an official document of the Council.
Both these proposals were supported and accepted by members of the OIC group, whose President, The Kuwaiti Permanent Representative assured follow up of these decisions.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a letter to the UN Secretary General urged the UN to intensify diplomatic and moral pressure on the Myanmar government to grant citizenship rights to the Rohingya Muslims, in accordance with international humanitarian law.
She said that “There is urgent need to set up a special OIC fund to help in the relief and rehabilitation of this persecuted and displaced community”, she asserted. While appreciating the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia for agreeing to provide temporary asylum to over 7,000 asylum seekers, Ambassador Lodhi said that this was not a permanent solution, nor was it appropriate to put the burden on two or three governments alone.
“The international community as a whole, and the OIC in particular, has to come together and play its due role for timely, effective and eventually a permanent solution of this problem”, she emphasized. Terming the Rohingya Muslims as one of the worlds most persecuted minorities, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that the root cause of the ongoing humanitarian crisis lay in the persistent denial of their fundamental human rights and liberties, including the right to citizenship.
She told the OIC meeting that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has announced a package of financial assistance through the World Food Programme for distribution in Rohingya camps in Malaysia and Indonesia.