Islamabad/Rawalpindi - Supporters and members of various religious parties and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) took out protest rallies here on Friday against the genocide of Rohingya Muslims by the Burmese authorities.

Various protest rallies – soon after Friday prayers – converged at the Serena Chowk to criticise the United Nations and the international community for their silence over the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The rallies of Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Awami Tehreek, Ansarul Ummah, JUI-F, civil society, lawyers, and traders were set to reach the Myanmar Embassy in the Red Zone but they were stopped at Serena Chowk. Police and the protestors came face to face, as the demonstrators attempted to clear the way to reach the embassy in the Red Zone, which was already sealed by the law-enforcement agencies personnel.

The protest demonstrations were staged by various segments of the society to condemn what they termed state-sponsored violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

The protesters were carrying banners and placards criticizing the Myanmar authorities and chanted slogans against them for the brutality against Rohingya Muslims.

As the standoff continued, the district administration asked the protesters not to enter the Red Zone and remain peaceful. As the protesters found their way blocked at the Serena Chowk, the rally turned into a sit-in which continued until evening.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) held a separate protest rally which was also stopped by the police at NADRA Chowk. Meanwhile, Majlis Wahdat ul Muslameen staged a sit-in at China Chowk against the killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. The officials of Islamabad district administration remained present on the spot to control the situation.

The speakers at the main rally led by JI Amir Siraj ul Haq called on the Muslim community to take practical steps to help stop the violence in Myanmar. They criticised the role of United Nations in the wake of brutalities committed by the government of Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims.

The speakers called upon the United Nations to help stop the Burmese army from the genocide of Rohingya Muslims. They also demanded of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to convene an emergency meeting and exert pressure on the Burmese government to stop atrocities against the Muslims.

The speakers said that the federal government should play its role in the UN for providing relief to the Rohingya Muslims.

Addressing the participants of the rally, JI Amir Siraj-ul-Haq said that Muslims all over the world are brothers to one another. He added that it is the duty of the Muslims to raise voice for the oppressed Muslim community whether they are in Kashmir, Myanmar or Palestine.

He said that Rohingya Muslims should be protected against the atrocities. JI Amir demanded of the Pakistani government to break ties with the Myanmar government and immediately expel its ambassador from the country. He said that the Pakistani government should move the International Criminal Court against the Myanmar government.

On the other hand, PTI rally led by its President Islamabad Region, Raja Khurram Nawaz started from the Covered Market in Sector G-6/3. The police stopped the rally at NADRA Chowk. The protestors chanted slogans against the Myanmar government and demanded of the Pakistani government to close Myanmar Embassy in Islamabad. Opposition leader in MCI, Ali Awan termed UN’s silence over Rohingya killings a failure of the world body.

Later, the district administration held negotiations with the PTI leadership and it was decided that a representative delegation of PTI would be allowed access to the Myanmar Embassy to present Memorandum of Protest. Meanwhile, various religious and political parties also took out protest rallies in Rawalpindi against the Rohingya Muslims genocide.

The protesters set effigies of Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and flag ablaze and asked the Pakistani government to kick out the Ambassador of Myanmar from the country.

According to details, a large number of activists of JUI-F and JUP demonstrated outside Rawalpindi Press Club and on Peshawar Road to protest the genocide.

While holding placards and banners, the protesters also chanted slogans against the US and other European countries for their silence over the brutality of Burmese Army.

They said the United Nations should also initiate action against the killers of helpless Muslims in Burma.

They urged the Bangladeshi government to allow the Muslim refugees to enter the country. They also asked the government of Pakistan to boycott diplomatic ties with Burma.

Difah-e-Pakistan Council of Jamat-ud-Dawa also protested and denounced the killing of Muslims in Burma. Masool Khaleeq ur Rehman, the JUD leader, said the world comity should immediately stop the atrocities of army and monks in Myanmar.

They said UN has kept criminal mum over the genocide of Rohingya Muslims. They asked the Bangladesh government to open its borders and JUD would dispatch relief goods for the Muslims of Myanmar.

Pakistan Awami Tehrik also registered its strong protest against Burmese army and monks’ brutality in Myanmar. Holding a protest demonstration outside RPC, the leaders and workers of PAT chanted slogans against Burmese PM, army, and monks of Buddhist religion and urged the UN to send a peace mission to Burma to stop the genocide of innocent Muslims.