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The recent spate of persecution and exodus of Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar must have raised several questions in the minds of Muslims all over the world and the human rights organisations. The first question, besides so many others, is as to who the Rohingya Muslims are and why are they being persecuted. The second question, which agitates me more than anything, is that as to why only the Muslims, wherever they may be, are targets of the terrorism or violence.
The Rohingya people, historically known as Arakanese, are stateless people from Rakhine (previously known as Arakan) State of Myanmar. The majority of an estimated 1.3 million Rohingyas residing in Myanmar including 1.5 million refugees are Muslims and Hindus being in minority. The Rohingya population are denied citizenship, under the 1982 Burmese citizenship law and according to Human Rights Watch report, the law “effectively deny to the Rohingya the possibility of acquiring a nationality” despite the fact that their presence in Burma (now Myanmar) could be traced to the 8th Century. They are restricted from freedom of movement, state education and civil service jobs.
The persecution and discrimination towards Rohingya gave birth to Harakah Al-Yaqin, currently known as Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) after 2012 Rakhine State riots, to “defend Rohingyas’ rights”. I am compelled to state that why it is so that terrorism/violence has to be there wherever there are Muslim population.
You may notice that the entire Middle East has been destabilised because of Daesh, originated from Iraq, and now fighting along with Al-Qaeda against Syria. It has also started to target Turkey which supported the military action against Syria.
The same Al-Qaeda or Daesh working in Syria is now supporting militants in Myanmar. Is it really coincidental? Of course not. It cannot be a coincidence and one has to understand who is behind Al-Qaeda/ISIS worldwide? The West has accepted to have engineered and supported Daesh in the beginning. Who do you think launched both Al-Qaeda and Daesh with heavy weaponry? Mr Tony Blair is on record for having admitted publicly that attack on Iraq and subsequent actions were a “mistake” but I would like to term it as huge blunder which caused loss of innocent lives and racked the working of a country all together.
The statement of Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader actually drew my attention and I recall what happened in the past during Afghan-Soviet war and post-war enabling USA to take over Afghanistan. There is now no room to repeat the same mistakes and to allow yet another war- zone like Afghanistan in Burma/ Bangladesh.
In the eyes of the world, the conflict between Rohingyas and Buddhists seems to have raged in 2012 when ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) was formed following the atrocities upon Rohingyas but the reality says otherwise. In reality, the episodes of violence date back to Afghan War era when CIA needed Jihadi to fight the war for them. These abandoned and isolated Rohingyas were an easy target for CIA. They were trained with Afghan Jihadists and then pushed into fighting the American war. Like Afghan Mujahedeen, the USA also dumped Rohingyasl at the end of the war.
Furthermore, in reality Al Qaeda has its strong links with ARSA (a newly formed Rohingya militants group) and the statement given by Yemeni Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Batarfi who announced support for Rohingya Muslims confirms it. In a video message released by Al-Qaeda’s al-Malahem media foundation, Khaled Batarfi called upon all Muslims in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Malaysia to support their Rohingya Muslim brethren against the “enemies of Allah.”
Batarfi, who was freed from a Yemeni prison in 2015 when Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) seized the port city of Mukalla, also urged Al-Qaeda’s Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) branch to carry out attacks. “So spare no effort in waging jihad against them and repulsing their attacks, and beware of letting down our brothers in Burma (Myanmar),” Batarfi said. This is interesting development from Al-Qaeda leadership directing from Syria or Yemen who are already working for their masters in the west against Syrian president.
The record shows that militants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, China, Thailand, Burma, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Somalia, Sudan and Middle East were recruited by CIA and were given extensive military trainings. Later these so-called Jihadi turned terrorists. It may not be wrong to say that all these militants are the product of Afghanistan war and the desperate decisions which were made by America in order to win that war.
Afghan war era (1979-1992) was the time when deadliest terror groups of Taliban, Mujahedeen and Jihadists emerged on the planet. The earliest groups of Rohingya militants were formed in 1980’s namely the RSO (Rohingya Solidarity Organization) and the AMM (AqaMul Mujahidin) who stood up to fight against the Burmese military for their rights. The AMM had strong ties with Lashkar e Taiba as well as with the Jaish e Muhammad (JeH). Aqa Mul Mujahideen (AMM) had originated from the Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami-Arakan (HUJI-A), which was headed by Hafiz Abdul Quddoos. He then recruited Hafiz Tohar and later Tohar became the chief of AMM. HUJI-A, AMM, RSO and now the ARSA, all of them are reported to be have been trained in Bangladesh by RAW. As Bangladesh owes its existence to Indian intervention in 1971 that is why it has let Indian RAW use its border as training camp for these Jihadists.
As a part of that typical controversy against Pakistan, the international media portrays all of these Jihadists and the leaders heading these groups to be of Pakistani origin. But in reality all of them are being used against Pakistan. They were not born here but deployed here by links of Kulbhushan Yadav, an Indian spy to destroy the roots of Pakistan from inside. The recent arrest of Kulbhushan Yadav in 2016 in Baluchistan is a proof of this international conspiracy against Pakistan. The man himself confessed that many other agents like him have been deployed by the RAW in Karachi and other territories of Pakistan to spread a state of terrorism across the country. Karachi airport attack was done by Burma terrorist. Qari Jamil is Burma born terrorist who was found involved in Pakistan and there is head money of Rs0.5 Million. He however now is operating in Burma and playing someone else game. I ask from the anti-Pak media that who is Mohammed Jannuni? Not a Pakistani but Burma.
The terrorists from Burma and Maldives got joint training with ETMI terrorists who are now being used against China. It was Pakistan People’s Party’s government which arrested 20 ETMI terrorist of Chinese origin and handed over to China.
In the meantime we should not forget the agenda of USA and India behind this massacre. China has heavily invested in Myanmar for renovating and expanding the Sittwe seaport besides having rights to “develop and exploit natural gas reserves in the Arakan region”. We should also keep in mind that it is the Arakan region (currently known as Rakhine State) where Rohingya people live. China has also aided the construction of strategic roads along the Irrawaddy trade route linking Chinese Yunnan province to the Bay of Bengal besides construction of oil and gas pipelines stretching 2,380 km from Arakan (now Rakhine) coast to China’s Yunnan province. This enables China to import oil from Middle East “bypassing the Strait of Malacca”.
China also has been strategic partner of Myanmar and since 1989 it has supplied Burma (now Myanmar) with jet fighters and other military hardware. With its strategic presence in Myanmar, China has its influence in the Bay of Bengal and in the Southeast Asia. To counter the influence of China in the Indian Ocean, India took two islands – one from Maldives – to place its strategic assets there. Similarly, Bangladesh having a pro-Indian government provided its soil to RAW to train and infiltrate militants into Rakhine State to instigate Rohingyas to oppose the presence and building the oil & gas pipelines by China in their State but this could not gain any momentum.
The US-India nexus to oppose CPEC was a clear message both for Pakistan and China that both USA and India were not in favour of China’s increasing influence in Pakistan and in the region, in particular. On the other hand, USA as well as India were equally perturbed over China’s increasing influence and presence in the Southeast Asia, especially in Myanmar. The USA in collaboration with India has opted to repeat the history again by dragging out the war for its own strategic interests in Afghanistan to Myanmar by instigating war within, to counter the influence of China. The main motto behind these clandestine activities of Indian RAW and the CIA with Afghan Intelligence is to interrupt the emergence of CPEC corridor and to contain China in Southeast Asia at the same time.
The progressive role of China in the region is unnecessarily pinching India and the West from the very first day of CPEC origin. India is strategically worried over China’s access to Arabian Sea through Gwadar by way of CPEC and to the Bay of Bengal through Rakhine State (where Rohingyas are inhibited) thus circling Indian Ocean from both sides. India’s reservation also got proven when right after two months of CPEC’s launch, Indian PM Narendra Modi called it “unacceptable”. The USA collaborated with India to destabilise the Rakhine State in Myanmar just because it sees China as a threat in the race of global superpower. The US-Indian trained militants, under the title of Mujahedeen, were infiltrated in the Rakhine State to wage a war to firstly, create a situation where China is blocked in its commercial activities and secondly, to persecute already alienated populace of Rohingya Muslims.
It is a perfect model to sell to the world via Aung San Suu Kyi-Modi plan that allows the Al Qaeda terrorists to hit the Myanmar’s national interests and blame the innocent Muslims for that. It is a replicated model of Syrian, Iraq and Afghan war. Now all terrorist from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan want to get to Myanmar, apparently to support Rohingya Muslims but in reality more poor innocent Muslims would be killed and more saviours from around the world will reach this emerging war zone to further fuel the fire. It all needs to be stopped and only Modi and USA can do the favour by pursuing international forces like NATO forces by replicating Afghan war model.
The US does not seek “regime change” in Myanmar, it seeks to disrupt Chinese interests, undo Chinese-Myanmar ties, and if possible, place US military assets on China’s border. This responsibility will be discharged by PM Modi in close coordination with State councillor Aung San Suu Kyi. Nobody knows what transpired between PM Modi and Ms Souchi during emergency trip of PM Modi. The world witnessed more innocent Muslim killings after this visit of PM Modi.
On behalf of all the people who are against this decade long Muslim genocide happening in Myanmar, it is an appeal to the UNO to take notice of this massacre and do not ignore it like Rwanda /Kashmir and Afghanistan. People from all over the world are looking forward to have a coupon of justice from the UNO in this case, instead of criminal negligence. The genocide must be stopped and the Rohingyas be given their basic rights as respectable citizens of Myanmar.
Myanmar’s roughly 1.1 million Rohingya poses one of the biggest challenges to leader Aung San Suu Kyi; winner of Nobel Prize, who is accused of failing to support the innocent Muslim minority by protecting the vested interest of her western and Indian masters. Myanmar officials accuse the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) of burning homes but Rohingyas fleeing to Bangladesh say the Myanmar army is conducting a campaign of arson and killings to drive them out.
Now it is important to understand several key points regarding the crisis in Myanmar and how the war is being instigated from external sources; “Rohingya militants” no more represent the Rohingya people than the Islamic State represents the Sunnis of Syria and Iraq. These “militants” are admittedly supported and directed from abroad and do not represent a legitimate “backlash” against anti-Rohingya violence and. The West and India does not seek “regime change” in Myanmar, it seeks to disrupt Chinese interests, undo Chinese-Myanmar ties, and if possible, place International military assets on China’s border.
In Myanmar, Suu Kyi’s movement, anti-Rohingya violence, and alleged “backlash” all come accompanied with very obvious and significant foreign-footprints. It is a testament to the scale and complexity of manipulation the West is still capable of undertaking and places in jeopardy not only the majority of the people in Myanmar – Buddhist and Rohingya alike – who wish to live in peace, but the entire region as the US attempts to continue its pursuit of regional hegemony. Why USA should be having its policy for South Asia and Pacific Asia as it would be good for American people to spend money for the welfare of USA rather than showing their war skills at the cost of Billions of Dollars which can provide many homeless and Jobless Americans.
It is an appeal to the world and the UNO to understand the medium of the war and operations mentioned above. It must be taken into notice that wherever there is trouble in some region either Al-Qaeda, Daesh or Muslim brotherhood are Omni present. The world must recognize this grave issue more pragmatically and every one must contribute to put pressure to block this non stopped genocide of innocent Muslims.
The writer is chairman of think tank “Global Eye” and former interior minister of Pakistan.
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