Pakistan’s double standards stands exposed once again as on one hand Pakistan’s government and Islamic groups have been making hue and cry over the “persecution” of the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine by the Myanmar government, but on the other hand Rohingyas have been living in abysmal conditions in Islamabad for decades.
Pakistan, home to 40,000 and 250,000 Rohingyas, has lodged an official protest with Myanmar’s government over its treatment of the ethnic minority. But, the Rohingyas living in Pakistan find it hypocritical as they say they face discrimination in the Muslim-majority country and are forced to live in poor conditions, Deutsche Welle website reported.
“I am a Rohingya, but a Pakistani Rohingya. I speak Bengali and that is why most people call us Bengali in our area. They don’t accept us as Pakistanis,” DW quoted Mufiz Ur Rehman, a Rohingya based in Karachi’s Arakan Abad area, as saying.
Arakan Abad is named after Myanmar’s Arakan state, also known as Rakhine.
The Myanmar government launched military operations in Rakhine state against Rohingya rebels in late August when around 100 armed Muslim insurgents attacked security guards in the border region, causing massive exodus of minority Muslims into neighbouring Bangladesh.
Over 400,000 Rohingyas have fled to neighboring Bangladesh following the start of the latest conflict on August 25.
The Rohingya are an ethnic minority in Myanmar and are not officially recognized by the government as citizens and for decades Myanmar’s Buddhist majority has been accused of subjecting them to discrimination and violence.
Apart from Myanmar and Bangladesh, Rohingya are settled in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, and also Saudi Arabia.
After returning from Bangladesh, CNN reported UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi as saying that “Rohingya refugees who have sought shelter in neighbouring Bangladesh are in desperate need of help. They have absolutely nothing, evidently they had to flee from a very urgent situation, from very sudden violence, so they need everything”.
Myanmar State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi has said the term ‘Rohingya is ‘highly charged’ and hence she decided to call them Muslims. She added that she did not see any point to use terms which can inflame passions further.
Aung San Suu Kyi said , “There has been a lot of controversy with regard to the term used to describe the Muslims in Rakhine as there are those who want to call themselves as Rohingyas or who want to refer to the Muslims there as Rohingyas. There are those who want to call themselves as just Bengalis, which are not ethnic Rakhine.”
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