Dozens of activists staged a demonstration in the capital of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday to condemn the alleged violence and discrimination against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the silence of the international community on the issue.
“Kashmiris and Rohingyas [are] the biggest victims of terrorism in today’s world,” read a big banner being carried by the demonstrators, as they marched from Muzaffarabad’s Burhan Wani Chowk to the Garhipan Chowk, through the main thoroughfare.
“Why are the United Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and [the] international community silent?” read the banner.
The demonstration was led by the Pasban-i-Hurriyat, an organisation of Kashmiri migrants.
The demonstrators chanted slogans against the government and the armed forces of Myanmar for alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims on the basis of their faith.
At the end of their rally, they also torched the effigies of Myanmar leader Aung Suu Kyi and Ashin Wirathu, the spiritual leader of the anti-Muslim movement in Myanmar.
Speaking on the occasion, Pasban-e-Hurriyat leader Uzair Ahmed Ghazali maintained that the Kashmiris were deeply disturbed by the alleged persecution of Rohingya men, women and children in the most criminal and cruel way in recent times.
“We can feel their pain and suffering because we are undergoing a similar situation at the hands of the Indian army in held Kashmir,” he claimed.
Ghazali lamented that the alleged genocide in Myanmar was being carried out under the nose of Suu Kyi, a Noble Laureate. More painful, he said, was the alleged silence of self-proclaimed champions of human rights and the United Nations.
“They do not waste a fraction of a second when it comes to condemning the Muslims for the slightest act of violence attributed to them anywhere in the world, but in the case of Myanmar they are maintaining a criminal silence over incidents of the burning alive of Rohingya Muslims, beheading of their children and rape of their women by the majority Buddhists,” he alleged.
“If the UN is not doing anything concrete to salvage the Rohingya community, why is the OIC silent?” Ghazali asked, adding, that the bloc was under a religious and moral obligation to protect Muslims being subjected to atrocities in Myanmar, Kashmir and Palestine.
PPP leader Shaukat Javed Mir called for a nationwide protest to express solidarity with Rohingya community.
“Since Pakistan was created in the name of Islam, no wonder oppressed Muslims across the globe pin hopes on it for their emancipation,” he said, calling on Islamabad to “initiate a powerful campaign to save Rohingya Muslims”.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, speaking to a private TV channel today, said that Pakistan could send relief goods for Rohingya Muslims subject to landing rights for flights in Myanmar.
Pakistan has helped the Muslims of Rohingya in the past and it will again do the same, he said. However, he added, the planes carrying relief items needed landing permission.