While Pakistan justly rises to the plight of oppressed and battered Rohingya Muslims, the world conscience seems to be slumbering. What is beyond imagination to comprehend is that the civilized societies of the world, as well the United Nations (UN) remain totally immune to the grave predicaments of these Godforsaken Rohingya Muslims. To be able to genuinely appreciate the gravity of the issue a quick and brief glance at the history of Myanmar is essential.

Myanmar (former Burma) has a Buddhist majority. The Muslim minority in Myanmar mostly consists of the Rohingya people and 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. Indian Muslims migrated to Burma during British rule to fill jobs in the expanding economy, especially in clerical work and business. After independence, many Muslims retained their previous positions and achieved prominence in business and politics. According to Human Rights Watch the Burmese government has denied citizenship to any Rohingya who cannot prove their ancestors settled in the country before 1823, the beginning of British occupation of what is now Arakan State.

The Muslims of Rohingya are being deprived of their fundamental rights and are being compelled to live a miserable life in a world that vociferously preaches and seeks safeguard of human rights, but turns a blind eye to their deplorable plight. The government of Pakistan has come down heavily upon the silence of human rights organizations and the global community on the disgraceful massacre of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

While Pakistan is all geared up to provide any possible assistance to the Rohingya Muslims, it has made an ardent appeal to the UN, OIC and the regional powers not to turn a blind to the genocide of the Muslims in Myanmar. Like Pakistan, the world in general and the Muslim world in particular must wake up and take immediate cognizance of the genocide being committed there.

M. FAZAL ELAHI,

Islamabad, June 17.