Hundreds protest against Myanmar authorities in Pakistan


Hundreds of people protested in Pakistan's capital against the atrocities being committed against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The protest demonstration was led by Senator Siraj ul Haq, chief of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest religious political party.

The protesters were holding placards, which read: "Stop killings of innocent Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar". They were chanting slogans against Myanmar authorities and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, de-facto leader of the country.

Situation remained tensed in the capital as Haq had announced to enter high-security diplomatic enclave to surround the Myanmar embassy.

Pakistani authorities blocked all routes leading to diplomatic enclave by placing large containers near the site, commonly known as red zone, to avert any potential move by the rally participants to reach the embassy.

"God has directed us to help the oppressed," the JI chief said while addressing the protesters.

"The Myanmar government and army is involved in the killing of innocent Muslims and we are demanding from the government of Pakistan to immediately expel the Myanmar ambassador and suspend all defense agreements with them," he said.

He appreciated the Turkish government for strongly condemning the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

- Fresh influx of refugees

"We salute President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his government and Turkish people for raising voice for the Rohingya Muslims," Haq said.

Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

Last October, following attacks on border posts in Rakhine's Maungdaw district, Myanmar security forces launched a five-month crackdown in which, according to Rohingya groups, around 400 people were killed.

The UN documented mass gang rapes, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings and disappearances committed by security personnel.

In a report, UN investigators said the human rights violations constituted crimes against humanity.

Fresh violence erupted in Rakhine state nearly two weeks ago when security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya.

Bangladesh, which already hosted around 400,000 Rohingya refugees, has faced a fresh influx of refugees since the security operation was launched.

According to the UN, 270,000 Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh as of Friday.

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