KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Pakistan on Thursday said that Muslim Ummah must play an active role to help the Rohingya Muslims in these difficult times.
While addressing the Extraordinary Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers on the plight of Rohingya Muslims minority in Kuala Lumpur, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the meeting should convey a message of hope for the Rohingya Muslim Community.
“We hope that the democratically elected government of Myanmar will address this issue in a sympathetic manner,” Sartaj Aziz said.
The advisor said that at the same time, the OIC member states can supplement the efforts being carried out by the government of Myanmar to amicably and judiciously resolve this issue without any further loss of life or property and at the same time provide all possible support to the Rohingya Muslims.
Sartaj Aziz emphasized that the plight of Rohingya Muslims continues to pose a major challenge to the conscience of the international community.
With renewed violence, the situation in Rakhine State has become dire primarily because the root causes of the problem have not been addressed since 2012 and 2014 when similar human rights violations took place in the region.
Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan has always supported oppressed Muslim population and consistently raised our voice against human rights violations committed in Kashmir, Palestine or any other part of the world. In the case of Rohingya Muslims, Pakistan has repeatedly raised the issue at various international forums.
Besides urging the government of Myanmar to take necessary measures to protect the basic human rights of the Rohingya Muslims and to allow access of humanitarian assistance to the affected areas, he said that Pakistan has also raised the issue in the UN Human Rights Council in March and July 2015.
The advisor said that in June 2015, the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif addressed a letter to UN Secretary General, and called for intensification of diplomatic and moral pressure on the Myanmar government to grant the requisite rights to Rohingya Muslims and to provide them relief.
“In my letters addressed to the OIC Secretary General in 2015, I had urged the Secretary General to take necessary steps to alleviate the sufferings of Rohingya Muslims and find ways and means to channel the humanitarian aid to them.”
In addition, Sartaj Aziz said, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has announced humanitarian assistance in the form of rice worth US$ 5 million.
“We now hope that the government of Myanmar will respond positively to the recommendation contained in paragraph 10 of the draft resolution of this OIC Extraordinary Session, which I hope will be adopted later today (Thursday), so that regional and international organizations can deliver the much needed humanitarian assistance to all the affected,” Sartaj Aziz said.
Myanmar has recently completed the transition towards a democratic setup, he added.
“We support the efforts being made by the government of Myanmar to strengthen democracy in the country. We appreciate the Setting up of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State by the government of Myanmar in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Foundation to improve the welfare of all people in Rakhine state.”
In his report presented at the 43rd CFM last year in Tashkent, Sartaj Aziz said, the Special Envoy of the OIC for Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar indicated that oppression of Rohingya was still going on and that the issue transcends international boundaries. He also urged upon the OIC to adopt a constructive and balanced approach.
“In the spirit of transparency related to Rohingya Muslims, we urge the government of Myanmar to allow media access and distribution of humanitarian aid in areas affected by the recent spate of violence. I would like to urge the Contact Group of the OIC to monitor the situation and coordinate closely with the government of Myanmar for humanitarian assistance to affected areas,” he maintained.
The advisor also expressed his gratitude towards the government of Malaysia for hosting this OIC Foreign Ministers and for excellent arrangements.
Sartaj Aziz also complimented Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Bin Tun Razak for his inspiring statement in the meeting.
“I record my appreciation for the OIC for sustained attention to this important humanitarian issue”, he remarked.