Silent spectators



People might laugh at Waqar Zaka and Aamir Liaqat,

but the fact is they took a step and have flown all the way to Burma

to do whatever little they can.


The world has been a witness to all sorts of fascist regimes and atrocities being committed against humanity. Be it the brutal massacres by the Nazi regime or Saddam Hussein’s inhumane brutalities, the world has sustained the pain and the spilt blood. Amongst all of God’s creation, humans have proved to be the most malevolent.

Human life has no value in the eyes of some and it is even more daunting when a life is taken solely on the pretext of religion or religious differences. What remains more painful is the silence of others who are a witness to the brutalities being committed.

The world powers were very keen and expeditious on targeting bases in Syria in order to curb the ‘alleged’ chemical attacks. Aerial bombardment and tomahawk cruise missiles were one of the few responses that the Assad regime faced in exchange for their crimes against humanity. However, the international media and world powers remain silent following the crisis in Burma.

The Rohingya Muslims are being savagely slaughtered at the hands of the Burmese military and the world is, yet again, a witness to another ethnic cleansing. No call for sanctions or even investigations for crimes against humanity is being heard. The small efforts made by the United Nations remain futile as the Burmese authorities refuse visas and restrict movement to the crisis hit areas.

The most ironical silence, however, is of Aung San Suu Kyi a Nobel peace laureate. Commonly perceived to be the de-facto leader of Burma, this so called human rights and peace advocate has turned a blind eye towards her government’s atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims. The Burmese military remains occupied with rape, murder and arson against the Rohingya Muslims whom they label as terrorists and all Suu Kyi can state is that ethnic cleansing is too strong a word to be used for the Rohingya crisis.

On the other hand the Arab royalty, who consider themselves to be the leaders of the Muslim world at large, remain silent. Rather than using their influence on Donald Trump and the Americans to make an effort to stop the atrocities in Burma, our ever so loved royals are busy in an egoistic war of the minds with the Qataris and remain enraged after the Qatari emir’s phone call. Obviously, for them the Rohingya situation is insignificant as long as it is away from their palaces and, resultantly, they remain indifferent.

The double standards of Suu Kyi and the world at large are the painful reality of mankind. Had this been a Muslim extremist group involved, the world would have been in uproar. It seems important for the Security Council to call an emergency meeting following Kim Jong’s nuclear tests but somehow remains trivial to condemn the Burmese authorities.

In the latter case the only option available to the persecuted Rohingya is the support from the Muslim world. It is true that the Muslim world, including Pakistan, has raised voices against the brutalities of the Burmese military. Sadly, it isn’t enough. Rather than summoning the Burmese ambassador to the foreign office and lodging a strong protest, it might be more effective if our government was to expel the Burmese envoy from the country and also recall our team from Myanmar. Maybe if the Pakistani government took the first step, their Arab masters might follow their lead.

Mere statements and protest rallies are in no way going to help the fateful Rohingya. There is a strong need to exert diplomatic pressure on Burma even if it requires cutting of all ties with the tiny nation. Pakistan may not be that strong at the diplomatic front, but coupled with the Arabs and the Turks an effective response might be generated. After all, Burma isn’t a super-power capable of taking on the Muslim world all by itself. Even the Chinese card can be useful if, at all, our government was keen to use it.

Not doing enough and standing as silent spectators makes us no different than the people of Kufa who stood as bystanders when the progeny of the Prophet (PBUH) were being persecuted.

Keeping aside all religious beliefs and other external factors, the essence of humanity requires every single one of us to do their part. People might laugh at Waqar Zaka and Aamir Liaqat, but the fact is they took a step and have flown all the way to Burma to do whatever little they can. People accuse them of cheap publicity stunts but the fact is only God knows their true intentions and can judge them. At least they are taking a risk and stepping foot into a zone where Muslims are slaughtered for being Muslims.

It is required of all the citizens of Pakistan to exert maximum pressure on the government to take effective measures against the Burmese. A dharna by Khan Sahib would be appreciated if the Rohingya Muslims were the subject matter and not the rigged elections for once. The leaders of tomorrow need to rise not for political gains or votes but for preserving humanity.

Bangladesh, on the other had has started turning their backs on some of the fleeing Rohingya. Pressurising the Bengalis to open their borders for all of the fleeing Rohingya is another step our government can take. After all, there would be very little difference if the Rohingya were compared with the Muhajireen of Makkah.

In spite of all of the above, history has taught us that God does not let of the persecutors easily. Each and every dictator who has been involved in any crime against humanity has faced the wrath, eventually, at the hands of God. There will come a day when the Rohingya will have their vengeance. For he who has to return will avenge all those persecuted.

Till then I couldn’t agree more with Naz Khialvi:

Har zulm ki taufeeq hai zaalim ki wirasat, Mazloom ke hissay mein tasali na dilasa.