Pakistan’s parliamentarians condemn Myanmar violence

Lawmakers condemn Myanmar atrocities

Lawmakers in both houses of parliament on Monday condemned the atrocities being committed against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and urged the government to raise the issue at international forums, including the United Nations.

The National Assembly began discussion on a motion pertaining to the massacre of Rohingyas. Lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches condemned the genocide of the community and stressed that the government should take practical measures to support the helpless Rohingya refugees in various countries.

The members stressed that the United Nations Security Council should send a peace mission to Myanmar to stop the genocide of innocent Muslims.

They called upon Bangladesh to change its attitude towards the community and grant its members the status of international refugees. They said all Muslim countries should provide space and support to Rohingya refugees.

The MNAs also urged the countries across the world to immediately stop selling weapons to Myanmar.

The discussion in the house on the motion will continue on Wednesday.

Opposition members had submitted an adjournment motion in the National Assembly Secretariat but it was turned into a motion by the house so that every member could discuss it.

Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, senior lawmaker from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), said it was an extremely important matter that did not fall in the category of adjournment motion. He said a general debate on it should continue on behalf of both the treasury and opposition benches.

When asked by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq, the lawmakers supported the tabling of a motion in the house on the plight of Rohingya Muslims.

Taking part in the debate, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said it was satisfactory that people in Pakistan were protesting against the atrocities at every level.

He said cruelties were being perpetrated against Muslims of countries like Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen, but the atrocities with the Rohingyas were so terrible that they could not be narrated. He said women were being raped, children were being beheaded and those who had taken shelter on mountains had no food.

He said the Rakhine state of Myanmar had its own history, but through a law its 1.2 million population had been rendered stateless by abolishing their nationality. He demanded that the Nobel prize awarded to Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi should be withdrawn.

He said Pakistan had good military relations with Myanmar and it should play it role to resolve the issue.

Shireen Mazari of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf said the genocide of Rohingya Muslims was the failure of the entire Ummah.

She said a statement of the Bangladeshi prime minister against Rohingya refugees should also be condemned and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation should urge the country to change its attitude.

Mazari said all countries should stop selling arms to Myanmar. She also demanded that the UN impose economic sanctions on Myanmar.

The MNA lauded the moves of the Turkish government in this context.

Sahibzada Tariqullah of the Jamaat-e-Islami said international laws were being violated by the Myanmar government. He also suggested that all parliamentarians should donate their one-month salary to a relief fund for the refugees.

Lawmaker Ijazul Haq urged the prime minister to take up the issue in the UN session scheduled for next week.

Shazia Marri of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said a parliamentary delegation should be sent to the refugee camps. She said 313,000 refugees had already reached Bangladesh.

The Senate also unanimously passed a resolution condemning the crimes against Rohingya Muslims.

“Shocked at the grave crimes against humanity being systematically committed against the Rohingya Muslims at the behest of the government of Myanmar, which is aided and abetted in this heinous campaign by groups of religious extremists in that country, the Senate of Pakistan strongly condemns these crimes and killings which are tantamount to a genocide against a peaceful community, who are being persecuted on grounds of race and religion,” the resolution said.

“It is a violation of UN Charter, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, all international laws and covenants, including the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and Convention against Torture. The actions of Myanmar government are a gross violation of established human rights norms since these violations exhibit a consistent and persistent pattern,” it added.

The Senate urged the government to take up the matter at relevant forums, including directly approaching the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and to consider dispatching relief provisions and financial aid to the victims.

The Senate also passed a resolution recommending that the government present all international conventions, treaties, covenants and commitments before the upper house of parliament for ratification.