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Pathankot Attack Mastermind Masood Azhar Raises Rohingya Pitch Now

This is the first time that a jihadi organisation has called for action in Myanmar. This could trigger terrorist violence in the region which is already suffering from the Rohingya crisis.


Updated:September 12, 2017, 8:44 AM IST
Pathankot Attack Mastermind Masood Azhar Raises Rohingya Pitch Now
File photo of JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar.

New Delhi: In what could trigger terrorist violence in Myanmar, particularly its border areas with Bangladesh, Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar has asked his followers to get ready “to do something” for the “sacrifices” of Muslim population in this region.

According to an Indian Express report, Azhar, in his regular column in al-Qalam wrote: "It is because of the sacrifices of the Myanmar Muslims that the ummah (nation) is waking up and we are seeing this new awakening among the Muslims of the world… The entire Muslim ummah [nation] is feeling the pain of the Muslim nation."

This is the first such call of action in the Myanmar region by a jihadi organisation. Earlier, several other Muslim bodies have also had stern reactions on the Myanmar government’s crackdown against Rohingya Muslims.

India has accused Azhar of terrorist activities in India, including masterminding the Pathankot airbase attack in January. Seven security personnel and one civilian were killed in the airbase attack that shocked the nation at the severe security breach at a defence establishment.

While New Delhi has been demanding a United Nations sanction to put a ban on Azhar and his terror organization, Jaish-e-Muhammad, China has been standing as a roadblock in its move to designate Azhar as a terrorist.

This has caused significant tension among the two giants. Even after signing a joint declaration at the BRICS Summit this month that clearly condemned terrorism, China still refrained from giving its nod to ban Azhar.

Now, Azhar has called for action in Myanmar, which could lead to significant violence in the already disturbed Rakhine state in Myanmar.

The Indian Express report states, “Even though the ongoing insurgency in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has shown relatively rudimentary military capacities, with attacks against troops and police sometimes carried out with knives and machetes, Indian intelligence believes Jaish operatives helped provide training to Rohingya jihadists at camps run in Bangladesh’s Chittagong Hill Tracts in 2013-14.”

There are about 3,00,000 Rohingya who have fled Myanmar and entered Bangladesh, with Myanmar's growing military operations against the Rohingya in Rakhine state.

The Rohingya people are often described as the largest stateless ethnic group. The Myanmar government has refused to recognize the million strong population as rightful citizens in a 1982 citizenship law.

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| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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