November 9, 2017
PA passes resolution urging govt. to aid persecuted Rohingya Muslims
Azeem Samar, Karachi
The Sindh Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution calling upon the government to provide much-needed assistance to the displaced Rohingya Muslims who are facing persecution in their homeland Myanmar and forced to flee to neighbouring countries.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement leader Syed Sardar Ahmed read out the resolution, which was signed by several lawmakers, in the house on Wednesday. The resolution states that Rohingya Muslims have been facing violence, ethnic cleansing, horrific rapes and arson at the hands of Buddhist monks and the Myanmar government. But the persecution had taken a turn for the worse in the last week of August when more than 1,000 Rohingya Muslims, including children, were massacred, women raped and their villages burnt as confirmed by a senior United Nations representative on September 8.
Since then more than 600,000 of them have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, but even then overloading on the boats and rough seas had claimed even more lives of the fleeing minority community, it added, lamenting that Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s leader, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for resisting the previous regime, had turned a blind eye to their suffering.The resolution condemned the Myanmar government’s atrocities and urged the Pakistani government to approach the United Nations to intervene and send its forces to the country to stop the brutalities against the Rohingya community.
“Exclusively from a humanitarian point of view, the government of Sindh is requested to consider donating some funds, in cash or in kind, as a token relief to the Muslim refugees of Myanmar in Bangladesh who are in great distress,” the resolution added.
Another resolution calling upon the federal government to immediately release due zakat funds for Sindh for the financial year 2017-18 was also unanimously passed by house.
MQM’s parliamentary leader Syed Sardar Ahmed had also moved this resolution. In his foreword written on the draft of the resolution, Ahmed stated that the federal government was yet to release zakat funds to the province for this year because of which some 100,000 families who depend on the monthly subsistence provided to them through zakat have been facing hardships.
Moreover, patients who rely on zakat funds for treatment and medicine, and students who depend on them for their academic expenses are also facing a difficult time because of non-availability of the funds.
The house through a majority vote also adopted another resolution calling upon the government to withdraw a recent hike in prices of petroleum products in the country which came into effect from November 1.
Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Khairunnisa Mughal moved the resolution, which faced opposition from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which leads the federal government and sits on the opposition benches in Sindh.
Sorath Thebo, a PML-N MPA, said that the federal government had initiated a number of steps to provide assistance to people and was also providing subsidies on the retail prices of petroleum products.
The house was informed that people living in the surrounding area of Karachi Zoological Gardens illegally without authorisation and causing encroachments in the area would have to face action by the authorities concerned. The warning came from Local Government Minister Jam Khan Shoro on a call-to-attention notice moved by MPA of MQM Syed Qamar Rizvi who is the elected lawmaker from the area.
The minister also informed the house that Karachi Metropolitan Corporation was going to start an anti-encroachment drive elsewhere in the city against the same menace of illegal occupants from November 13 and the Sindh government would provide utmost assistance to the KMC for this. He added the government would provide assistance for rebuilding Karachi Zoo along modern lines as well.
Meanwhile, responding to a call-to-attention notice of MQM MPA Kamran Akhtar, Sindh Health Minster Dr Sikandar Mandhro said that the completion of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Trauma Centre at Civil Hospital Karachi had entered into its final stage and the centre would be equipped with such facilities which would not be available elsewhere in the country.
He added that even though the city’s government-run hospitals were not in the best shape, they were still offering health services not available at private and expensive hospitals. The house session was later adjourned till 10 am Thursday (today).