Islamabad - A writ petition has been filed in Islamabad High Court seeking its directions for the federal government to break diplomatic ties with Myanmar and for withdrawal of the Award of Democracy given by Pakistan to Aung San Suu Kyi, the State Counsellor of Myanmar, for being silent on the genocide of Muslims in Burma.

A senior lawyer Tariq Asad Advocate moved the petition and cited the Prime Minister through its Principal Secretary, Federation through Secretary Ministry of Interior and Secretary Ministry of Defence as respondents.

He stated in his petition that it is to mention with great concern that there are over a million (1.2) Muslim Rohingya people in Burma but they have faced years of maltreatment at the hands of the government, which does not recognise them as its citizens.

He added that they are facing widespread discrimination from Buddhist majority population and are often referred to as Bengalis, alluding to a common myth that they are illegal immigrants.

The petitioner said that Myanmar has a Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority in Myanmar is the descendants of Muslim immigrants from India (including what is now Bangladesh) and China (the ancestors of Chinese Muslims in Myanmar came from the Yunnan province), as well as descendants of earlier Arab settlers and the recognised Kamein minority and the Rohingya people, intermarried with local races of Myanmar.

He mentioned that according to Human Rights Watch, the Burmese government has denied citizenship to any Rohingya person who cannot prove his ancestors settled in the country before 1823, the beginning of British occupation of what is now Rakhine State (also known as Arakan).

Muslims have lived in Myanmar (also known as Burma) since the 11th century CE.

Petitioner continued that reportedly since 25th August 2017, the Burma’s military and paramilitary forces are committing ‘genocide’ or a ‘pogrom’ against the Muslim minority in the western Rakhine state.

“Rohingya children are being brutally beheaded and civilians burned alive, soldiers and civilians in Burma are attempting to cover up the massacre of the country’s Rohingya Muslim population by gathering their bodies and burning them.

It is reported by different witnesses that a large number of Muslims have been massacred brutally,” said the petitioner.

He added that Chris Lewa, Director of the Arakan Project, which monitors violence in Burma’s Rakhine stated that her organisation had documented the killing of at least 130 people in one settlement in the Rathedaung region.

She added that there were reports of three other villages where dozens of people had been killed. As per her observation a minimum of 130 people had been killed, actually, it was more,” she told BBC.

Tariq Asad said that that satellite imagery released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) showed 700 buildings burned down in another Rohingya village, Chein Khar Li. The Deputy Asia Director, Phil Robertson, for HRW, told that the new satellite imagery showed the total destruction of a Muslim village, and prompts serious concerns that the level of devastation in northern Rakhine State might be far worse than originally thought. Yet this was only one of 17 sites that they had located where burnings had taken place. Independent monitors were needed on the ground to urgently uncover what was going on.

He added that according to the UN’s refugee agency, an estimated 73,000 people had crossed the border into Bangladesh since violence flared on 25 August 2017, leaving refugee camps near full capacity. Observers believe the number of displaced people was likely to increase.

Therefore, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents to raise voice on all civil and military platforms to stop the genocide of the Rohingya people in the country, register a protest at the international forum and rescue them by all possible means.

He also requested the court to direct the respondents to break the diplomatic relations with the government of Burma and remove their Embassy in Pakistan and their diplomatic staff and withdraw the Pakistan Embassy and its staff from Burma.

Petitioner further requested to direct the government to withdraw the Award of Democracy given by the Pakistani government to Aung San Suu Kyi for being silent on the genocide of Muslims in Burma.