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National Assembly, Senate ask govt to raise Rohingya Muslims issue

Updated September 12, 2017
A Rohingya man stretches his arms out for food distributed by local volunteers, with bags of puffed rice stuffed into his vest at Kutupalong, Bangladesh on Saturday.— AP
A Rohingya man stretches his arms out for food distributed by local volunteers, with bags of puffed rice stuffed into his vest at Kutupalong, Bangladesh on Saturday.— AP

ISLAMABAD: Members of the Senate and National Assembly on Monday urged the government to raise its voice against atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and insisted on taking up the cause at the United Nations and other international forums.

The Senate, on the first day of its new session, unanimously passed a resolution without any discussion condemning violence in Myan­mar. Similarly, the National Assembly discussed various adjournment motions moved by a number of opposition members on the same issue.

The resolution passed by the Senate termed oppression perpetrated against Rohingya Muslims at the behest of the Myanmar government as “crimes against humanity” which were aided and abetted by religious extremists.

The resolution was presented by Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq which “strongly condemned these crimes [against Rohin­gya Muslims] and killings tantamount to genocide aga­inst a peaceful community who are being persecuted on the grounds of race and religion”.

The Senate urged the international community to take notice of the crimes being committed against humanity and called upon the federal government to immediately take up the matter with the UN secretary general.

The senators also proposed sending relief and financial support to the affected Rohingya population.

Meanwhile, in the National Assembly, the speakers expressed solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims and asked the UN and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to take immediate action to stop genocide of the Muslims in Myanmar.

Taking part in the assembly’s general debate on Rohingya Muslims, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ijazul Haq asked Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to raise the issue in his upcoming address at the UN General Assembly.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman urged the media and parliament to play its role in highlighting the atrocities being committed against the Muslims all over the world.

“Where are the international communities and the champions of human rights? Why are they silent on the cruel action of the Myanmar government?” he asked.

The JUI-F chief also asked the international community to withdraw the Nobel Peace Prize given to the prime minister of Myanmar.

Dr Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf condemned the statement of Bangladesh’s prime minister asking Myanmar to take Rohingya nationals back from her country.

Ms Mazari asked the federal government to stop selling weapons to Myanmar.

Shazia Marri of the Pakistan Peoples Party suggested that the government send a parliamentary delegation to Myanmar. She expressed her sorrow over the “powerlessness” of Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi in stopping the genocide in her country.

Sahibzada Tariqullah of the Jamaat-i-Islami asked the government to take practical steps for providing help to the oppressed community.

Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2017