ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, expressing concern at the ongoing violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, said Pakistan is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the persecuted minority to alleviate their suffering.
In a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foreign minister emphasised that plight of Rohingya Muslims was a challenge to the conscience of the international community.
He also supported the Organisation of Islamic Countries’ (OIC) position condemning the violence.
Asif said that violence and serious human right violations against the minority community and the violation of international humanitarian law is deplorable.
He also expressed concern over the spread of hate speech and incitement to violence, discrimination and prejudice against Muslims and members of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities.
The foreign minister called for effective measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such violence, providing security to all and upholding the rights of every individual to live and move without fear and discrimination.
Asif added that Pakistan has always supported oppressed Muslim populations, including those in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the Rohingya Muslims. He further said the country has supported the resolution moved earlier over the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Nearly 90,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar in August, pressuring scarce resources of aid agencies and communities already helping hundreds of thousands of refugees from previous spasms of violence in Myanmar.
The ensuing clashes and a major military counter-offensive have killed at least 400 people.
Myanmar officials blamed the Rohingya militants for the burning of homes and civilian deaths but rights monitors and Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh say a campaign of arson and killings by the Myanmar army aims to force them out.
The treatment of Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya is the biggest challenge facing leader Aung San Suu Kyi, accused by Western critics of not speaking out for the minority that has long complained of persecution.