The MUSLIM Institute, Islamabad-based research oriented think-tank, organized a seminar “Plight of Muslims in Myanmar, Responsibilities of Muslim World and International Community” in a local hotel.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed, ex-Amir JI, addressing on the occasion said that Muslims are victim in every part of the world. Arakan which is riched in natural resources and govt. of Myanmar is frightened that according to historical back ground, Muslims can stand for their Islamic identity. For this reason Myanmar govt. has taken brutal steps and is forcing the Muslims to leave the Arakan. He further said it is the urgent need for us to review the policies made in the last decade.
Chairman PML-N Raja Zafar ul Haq, expressing his views on the issue, remarked that there is critical situation in Syria and Pakistan adopted an ambiguous policy where as we should stand with clear object. He further said Islam is being portrait as Terrorist religion in the world where as Muslims are most oppressed people of the world. He further stated that worst kind of human rights abuses are being committed in Myanmar as not only homes of Muslims but also their worshiped place are being demolished. He appreciated all those voices which are being raised to highlight the issue.
Ex- Senator Akram Zaki, in his address, said that that Pakistan should play a vital role for unity of Muslim countries in the coming conference called by the OIC in Jeddah. Muslims are not only victims in Burma but also in Kashmir, Palestine, and other parts of the world. He further said that West targeted the Muslim world after the collapse of Soviet Union.
Tahir Mehmood, a program coordinator of MUSLIM Institute, in his welcome address stated that there is urgent need for taking immediate notice of persecution of Muslims in Myanmar and worst kind of abuses of their rights. However, silence of regional and international community over the issue is a matter of grave concern. In these circumstances, it is imperative that the concerned authorities be urged to play effective role for resolution of this severe human crisis and MUSLIM Institute has organized today’s seminar in this regard.
Usman Hassan, a research associate of MUSLIM Institute, said that persecution of Muslims in Myanmar was not new; rather the same had been going on for the last seventy years. The Muslim population has been deprived of citizenship right as well as other allied basic rights through 1982 Citizenship Law. UNO has also described Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar as “one of the most persecuted minority in the world.” In recent violence, around 0.1 million people have been displaced, which reflects gravity and magnitude of the crisis. It is not only an issue of minority rights abuses but a serious human crisis.
Noor Hussain Arkani president of Rohingya Solidarity Organization, Pakistan Chapter, said that the brutality against Muslims of Arakan is not new but it has been happening since long time. Like Kashmir, Arakan was also occupied forcefully against the will of Arakani Muslim majority who were interested in merger with East Pakistan. To occupy the natural resources of that area, Burmi govt. is trying to evacuate Muslims from Arakan.
Ambassador Khalid Mehmood said that the reaction from world on the violence in Burma is very slow. The incident should be investigated independently and the action should be taken against the human rights violation.
In his concluding address, Chairman MUSLIM Institute Sahibzada Sultan Ahmad Ali stated that the issue needs to be analyzed from perspective of violation of human sanctity, besides violation of rights of a religious minority and MUSLIM Institute condemns human rights violations or persecution of humanity anywhere in the world. The Muslim world and international community should not remained confined to mere lip service, rather should play proactive role to stop human rights abuses. In the end, he presented followed recommendations:-
- UNO should immediately take notice of genocide of Muslims in Myanmar and convene an emergent session of Security Council. In this regard, all OIC members should submit a resolution seeking emergent meeting of Security Council
- UNO should form a Commission to investigate massacre of Muslims in Myanmar and on its recommendations trial of those found involved be held for crimes against humanity in International Court of Justice.
- If situation warrants, UNO should deploy peacekeeping missions in Myanmar for protection of life, property and honor of Muslims there.
- UNO should take practical steps to get anti-human Citizenship Law of Myanmar rescinded.
- UNO should ensure open access for international media so that true picture of persecution of Muslims and accurate figures of losses become clear.
- Organizations of inter-faith harmony should take serious notice of forced and violent conversions of Muslims in Myanmar.
- The Muslim members of ASEAN should exert pressure on Myanmar to stop persecution of Muslims and also urge other ASEAN member states to play role in this regard.
- OIC should immediately form a Commission to undertake tour of Myanmar to compile a report about plight of Muslims there.
- OIC should take the issue of persecution of Muslims in Myanmar as top priority agenda in its forthcoming meeting scheduled for 27 Ramadan in Jeddah.
- OIC should establish an emergency fund for provision of food, medicines and other basic necessities to Muslims in Myanmar.
- UNO, OIC and ASEAN should take immediate steps for rehabilitation and settlement of refugees. A conference of regional countries may be held to handle related matters in an effective manner.
- Regional countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh particularly Pakistan should play proactive role for immediate practical implementation of the above recommendations.
- The Government of Pakistan should bring into action its diplomatic channels to solve problems of Muslims in Myanmar.
Among representatives of all sections of society, the seminar was attended by renowned analysts, professors and students of various universities, parliamentarians from the Provincial and National Assemblies, foreign diplomats, members of various research organizations, journalists and academia.