ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has written an open letter to UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon on the distressing plight of Rohingya refugees and the persecution of Rohingyas in Myanmar.

Imran Khan condemned the silence of the United Nations on these issues, writing that the UN had failed in protecting its fundamental principles and human rights.

“It has been heartbreaking to witness the silence of the UN and international community on the persecution of Rohingyas Muslims since the 1970s. The hypocrisy prevalent within the international community on human rights and humanitarian interventions has been acutely evident as the Rohingya crisis has unfolded.”

Khan also wrote that the UN had failed in stopping persecution and genocide.

“I call on you, as the Secretary General to move the UNSC to end the persecution and genocide of the Rohingyas within Myanmar and to bring an end their inhumane plight on the high seas,” Imran wrote.

The Rohingya Muslims flee Rakhine state in Myanmar in droves each year to escape poverty and persecution in a region where their movements are controlled and they lack access to jobs or basic services.

The exodus increased dramatically after 2012 when scores were killed in communal bloodletting involving Buddhist nationalists in the state.

Tens of thousands have languished in displacement camps in Rakhine since the violence.

An estimated 300,000 more scratch a living in the poor coastal area of neighbouring Bangladesh, but only around a tenth of them are officially recognised as refugees.

The status of the Rohingya is an incendiary issue in Myanmar as Buddhist nationalism surges.

But the country has faced intensifying pressure from the international community to extend citizenship rights to them.

Myanmar has been keen to portray those leaving its shores as Bangladeshi economic migrants, and rejects widespread criticism that its treatment of the Rohingya is one of the root causes of the exodus.

Text: Imran Khan’s letter to Ban Ki-moon

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