From Print Edition
NEW YORK: A large number of people responded to a call by three US-based Pakistani organisations and staged a demonstration in the Times Square of the city on Saturday evening in support of the rights of persecuted Rohingya Muslim community in Myanmar and those of migrants around the world.
Human rights activist from Bangladesh, Myanmar and Indonesia joined the demonstration sponsored by Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum [PUFF], Bronx Community Council and the American Council of Minority Women.
Speakers at the rally, including PUFF President Muhammad Rafiq, President of PML-N Ruhail Dar, PUFF Secretary-General Comrade Shahid and activists Shabbir Gul, Wahid Ansari and Marty Goodman as well as representatives of the youth wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) called on the leaders of Myanmar and the world to take immediate action to halt the inhuman persecution of Rohingya people.
They thanked the governments of Pakistan and Turkey for their support to the cause of Rohingya Muslims. Demonstrators carried placards and chanted slogans in support of the right of Rohingyas to citizenship in their country of birth, saying they deserved equal rights and opportunities.
“We stand for the rights of Rohingyas,” Comrade Shahid said. “Rohingyas deserve to be treated like we all deserve to be treated – with dignity and respect.”A wave of violence against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State has triggered an influx of refugees into the neighbouring countries. Rohingyas face daily discrimination, including controls on their movements, family size and access to jobs. Myanmar’s discriminatory policies have forced tens of thousands Rohingyas to flee overseas. They have been risking their lives by crossing the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea to seek refuge in Malaysia and Indonesia.