29 Sep 17/Friday
A country that is overseeing ethnic cleansing in its largest province in the name of a military operation, acquiescing to genocide against a Muslim sect by forming political alliances with the perpetrators and sanctioning the apartheid against another sect through the Constitution, has no grounds to play the savior card when another community is being persecuted thousands of kilometers away. Pakistan suitably ignores its past stances and shamelessly uses the Rohingya Muslims victims of barefaced ethnic cleansing to sketch out a “world against us” picture that fuels Islamo-fascist jingoism that swells its vote banks. What further magnifies the sardonic façade is the state’s obliviousness to its own historic contribution to the plight of the community it is ostensibly clamoring to safeguard as a part of an obnoxious photo op. Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s refusal to accommodate the Rohingya Muslims in a country ostensibly created as a ‘Muslim homeland’, turned the members of Arakan Muslim League towards jihadism and a radical fight for self-determination a struggle that continues till this very day.
Pakistan’s next contribution towards exacerbating the plight of the Rohingyas was through Operation Searchlight that led to genocide and genocidal rape in East Pakistan to quell Bengali self-determination. This led to a mass migration from East Pakistan into Burma, allowing the Rakhine monks to use the pretext of “demographical change” to force the Burmese government into mass Muslim expulsion. After a decade of hunger strikes and radical Budhist propaganda, Burma stripped the Rohingyas of citizenship in 1982. From the 1948 annexation of Balochistan, to the 1974 Second Amendment to excommunicate the Ahmadiya community, Pakistan’s role in occupying regions and fuelling bigotry against communities is second to none. In fact, if the government of Pakistan is so concerned about the tragic state of the Rohingya Muslims, maybe it should start with facilitating its own Rohingya population in Karachi, some of whom fled Pakistan’s own military abuses in Bangladesh to seek refuge wherever it could be found.