Opposition in Pakistan over arms deal with Myanmar

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 03, 2017 07:45 hrs

[Pakistan], Mar. 3 (ANI): As Myanmar and Islamabad are engaged in advanced negotiations to license-build the JF-17 Thunder, there is growing opposition within Pakistan regarding this agreement.

According to an article in Pakistan Today, the opposition over the agreement that could help markedly expand Myanmar's local defence industry comes in the light of alleged military force brutality against the Rohingya Muslims in Maynamar, according to an article in Pakistan Today.

The Rohingyas, migrated from neighbouring Bangladesh, belong to Myanmar's ethnically divided Rakhine State and the previous administration had stripped over 660,000 Muslims in the state of their "white card" IDs and the right to vote, thus, rendering them stateless.

Myanmar has struggled to contain bloodshed on the basis of religion in recent years, especially in Rakhine State where Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims are at loggerheads.

Rakhine State is home to about a million stateless Muslims who self-identify as Rohingyas and are reviled by Rakhine Buddhists. Most Rohingya live cut off from the Buddhist community in displacement camps or remote settlements since sectarian riots in 2012.

Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has also drawn criticism from rights groups for not taking up the cause of Muslims.

The article said that the Rohingya issue has been substantiated by grainy videos in circulation on the internet, as well as international journalists and human rights organizations and that the JF-17 was developed in collaboration with China - a country tarnished by its own history of violations against the Uighur Muslims.

It adds that this move is beyond recognition as Pakistan is a state that has invested great effort into establishing its role as a political defender of oppressed Muslim brethren. This has been the foundational doctrine of all of Pakistan's military and diplomatic policies regarding Kashmir, as well as the primary reason why your Pakistani passport says that it is not valid for travel to Israel.

The article said that it is astonishing how rapidly the doctrine of solidarity with Muslim brethren is vaporized, when it comes to abetting the bane of the Muslim populations of Xinjiang and Rakhine for our own economic and military gains.

The Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Pakistan Air Force have so far declined to comment on the apparent mismatch.

"The JF-17 deal is an important one in the making; not simply because of its significance to the Myanmar Airforce, but as a determinant of Pakistan's self-made identity as a vanguard of Muslim people," it said.

"Do we now affirm this identity, or do we invite accusations of hypocrisy?," it questioned. (ANI)