Rohingyas in Pakistan live in ‘abysmal’ conditions: DW Report

The new report throws light on the conditions of Pakistani Rohingyas and the persecutions they face

Deutsche Welle (DW), a German media organisation, published a report recently on the conditions of the Rohingyas living in Pakistan. The report says that Pakistan is home to 40,000 to 250,000 Rohingyas. 100,000 Rohingyas live in the Arakan Abad area in Karachi alone. Mufiz Ur Rehman, a Rohingya living in Arakan Abad, told the DW: “I am a Rohingya, but a Pakistani Rohingya. I speak Bengali and that is why most people call us Bengali in our area. They don’t accept us as Pakistanis.” According to the report, he lives with 20 other Rohingya in a tiny apartment.

The Arakan Abad slums have “poor living standards,” and the living standards are “abysmal,” the report mentioned.  Most of the Rohingyas in Arakan Abad are fishermen and some work in the garment factories, according to Nur Hussain Arkani, president of the Burmese Muslim Welfare Organization. Rahmat Ali, a 75-year-old fisherman, escaped the genocide in Rakhine state of Myanmar and arrived at Pakistan in the early 1970s. “I have been living in Pakistan for more than four decades but I have not been accepted as a Pakistani. For Pakistanis, we are Bengalis and refugees,” Ali told the DW. The Pakistani Rohingyas do not possess the country’s National Identity Card, hence are ineligible for government jobs.

Rahmat Ali, a Rohingya fisherman in Karachi (Courtesy: DW)

The DW report also gave the views of a Pakistani rickshaw driver, who was hostile to the Rohingyas. According to him, the Rohingyas are “Indian agents” who should leave Pakistan immediately, and the crackdown on them by the authorities is justified. Abul Hussain, who came to Pakistan from Rakhine in 1968, said the lack of identification documents makes them vulnerable to harassment by police. “Many Rohingya fishermen from Pakistan, who are caught by the Indian coastguard, can’t prove they are Pakistanis because they don’t possess Pakistan’s citizenship. We are the ultimate stateless people. We are being killed in Myanmar. We are being tortured in Pakistan,” Hussain said to DW.


Source: DW and ANI reports, edited by Akileish Ramanathan