ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution against the persecution of ethnic Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
The resolution was tabled in the lower House of Parliament by Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain.
On Tuesday, legislators passed a similar resolution in the Senate, asking to declare June 12 as a day of solidarity with the persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar.
The Senate resolution urged the government should take up the issue with the United Nations, international community and the International Court of Justice.
The resolutions come after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif set up a special committee to suggest what Pakistan can do to help the Rohingya.
The prime minister approved all the recommendations of the committee including $5 million in food assistance. A statement said the prime minister will also be writing to the UN Secretary General to convey Pakistan’s position on the issue.
The Rohinghya are a heavily persecuted Muslim minority in Myanmar, many of whom live in displacement camps after deadly unrest erupted in 2012 in Rakhine, one of Myanmar’s poorest states and a tinderbox of communal tension between its Buddhist majority and the ethnic Muslim minority.
Myanmar refuses to recognise most of its 1.3 million Rohingya as citizens and places a series of restrictions on them, such as family size, movements and access to jobs.
Tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar in recent years, alongside Bangladeshi economic migrants, primarily headed for Malaysia and Indonesia.
The exodus largely went ignored until a crackdown on the people smuggling trade in Thailand last month caused a regional crisis as gangmasters abandoned their quarry on land and sea.
Some 4,500 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants have since washed ashore in the region while the UN estimates around 2,000 others are still trapped at sea.
Buddhist hardliners in Rakhine want Rohingya pushed out of the region altogether and are opposed to the central government offering stranded boat people any help.
The persecution of the Rohingya has been largely ignored by the international community, with international right groups and other Muslim countries blamed for their ‘criminal silence’ on the issue.