Monday, September 26, 2011

200,000 Rohingya refugees languishing in Pakistan

Pakistan also has a history of hosting several communities of disparate peoples’ from around the world [ Either fleeing from violence or other reasons ] and refugees. It received about six million Afghan refugees from 1979 to 2001.

Along with hosting about 200,000 Burmese people who are largely based in Karachi [ To be precise, they are Rohingya Muslims from Western Burma who claim to have fled their homeland of Arakan State under the persecution of Muslim citizens by the Burmese Junta ]. A considerable number of Kurds from many countries also came to reside in the country and some still do.

Shirin Ebadi, the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to have received the Nobel Prize wrote in her book ‘Iran Awakening’ [ Page 78 ] :

‘But once it became clear that the war [ Iran-Iraq War ] would drag on, that Saddam would use chemical weapons and get away with it, a wise stratum of people started to leave..Some managed to obtain visas and boarded planes. Hundreds of thousands of others, desperate to get out at any cost, paid bandits to smuggle them through Turkey or Pakistan’.


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