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Pakistan expresses concern at plight of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims

May 26, 2015

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The spokesman said Pakistan strongly believes that peaceful coexistence of all communities in Myanmar is essential to peace.- AFP/File
The spokesman said Pakistan strongly believes that peaceful coexistence of all communities in Myanmar is essential to peace.- AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday expressed grave concern at the plight of the minority Muslim community in Myanmar, which has been facing extreme human rights violation at home resulting in flocks taking to the Andaman Sea to escape.

Editorial: Rohingya tragedy.

“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,” FO spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said.

A draft resolution has also been prepared with support of Pakistan, which will be tabled in the OIC foreign ministers meeting starting from tomorrow in Kuwait, said the spokesman.

Khalilullah said a resolution titled “The Situation of the Muslim Community in Myanmar” urges Myanmar’s authorities to take all necessary measures to restore stability and launch a comprehensive reconciliation process in Rakhine state.

The spokesman said Pakistan strongly believes that peaceful coexistence of all communities in Myanmar— with provision of fundamental rights like citizenship, freedom to practice religion, education and security— is essential to peace, progress and prosperity of the country.

Plight of the Rohingya people

In recent years, sectarian violence and a thicket of discriminatory laws against the Rohingya in Buddhist-majority Myanmar have sparked the region’s largest exodus of boat-people since the Vietnam War.

More than 25,000 people, including many Rohingya but also economic migrants from Bangladesh, made the dangerous sea journey south from the Bay of Bengal between January and March this year, the UN says.

An estimated 1.3 million Rohingya scratch out an existence in Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest states — tens of thousands are trapped in displacement camps, with conditions outside often worse.

Read more: Myanmar’s abandoned Rohingya — Asia’s pariah people.