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Khawaja Asif demands end to persecution of Rohingya Muslims

September 04, 2017

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif expressed "deep anguish at the ongoing violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar" in a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry on Monday.

"The plight of the Rohingya Muslims is a challenge to the conscience of the international community," said Asif, expressing concern "over the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence, discrimination and prejudice against Muslims and members of national ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities."

Asif expressed support for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) position "condemning the renewed violence" against Myanmar's Rohingya Muslim minority.

He also said that he supports the OIC Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission's call "for immediate and effective action to bring an end to all human-rights violations against innocent and unarmed Rohingya Muslim population" and recommendations of the Rakhine Advisory Commission.

Earlier this year, the commission, led by former UN chief Kofi Annan, had urged Myanmar’s government to reconsider a failed programme to verify Rohingya for Myanmar citizenship and to remove restrictions on freedom of movement.

Foreign minister on Monday reiterated Pakistan's "constant support for oppressed Muslim populations including in Indian occupied Kashmir, Palestine, and the Rohingya Muslims."

"Pakistan is host to more than 3 million Afghan refugees [...] tens of thousands [of] Rohingyas carry Pakistani passport and live in different countries," he had tweeted earlier in the day.

At least 73,000 Rohingya Muslims have crossed into Bangladesh fleeing persecution and over 400 have been killed in recent clashes in Myanmar's Rakhine state.