ISLAMABAD: As many as 400,000 Rohingyas, who have been displaced from Myanmar due to a military crackdown, have found refuge in Pakistan, in addition to the three million Afghans, Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said on Monday.
“The people of Pakistan have demonstrated exemplary generosity, hospitality and compassion towards the refugees in the country, showcased in Pakistan’s inclusive policies on health, education and livelihoods, including during the Covid-19 response,” he said on the World Refugee Day.
This is the first official statement from the government on the number of Rohingya refugees in Pakistan. A crackdown by the military of Myanmar on Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state sent hundreds of thousands fleeing across the border into Bangladesh. But, many travelled to Pakistan also apparently through the sea route by shipping merchants.
“Pakistan has shouldered the responsibility of one of the largest and most protracted refugee situations in the world for over four decades,” the spokesperson said.
Though, the number stated gives the estimated statistics about the Rohingyas it also raises many questions?
- Who invited them?
- Why they are here?
- How did the government come to know about them as Burma does not consider them citizens?
- Has the government announced any scheme for them?
Many Rohingyas are living in Karachi’s Korangi creek area for years.
A United Nations fact-finding mission in 2018 concluded that a criminal investigation and prosecution were warranted of top Myanmar generals for crimes against humanity and genocide.
While observing the day, the Foreign Office expressed its solidarity with refugees all around the world. It maintained that the long-standing Afghan refugee situation must not be forgotten by the international community, as new situations emerge around the globe.
World should help: PM Shehbaz
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a tweet said that the world should help developing countries that continue to host a large number of refugees.
“Refugees are the worst victims of wars & conflicts as well as poverty & economic inequality. From Syria to Palestine to Afghanistan, their plight calls for renewed policy focus & resources,” he said.