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Silence of critical voices.

Byline: Iffat Farooq

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on International Human Rights Day in December 2019 while addressing Human Rights Convention, admitted that 'the world has failed on acting quickly on early warning signs and has not invested in early prevention, which could save human lives'.The failure to recognize the threat of past Genocide in different times and regions has resulted in another existential present potential threat. In the recent past, different nations have silently countersigned genocide and other appalling large-scale violations of human rights and humanitarian laws.

The state is obliged to protect human rights and stand up when other states commit such violations. The last two decades have not only encompassed terrible tales of human rights violations but have also witnessed the deep silence of critical voices and their failure to mourn and register such atrocities globally. Martin Niemoller King truly said that we would remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.

Nobel peace prize holder Aung San Suu Kyi' of Myanmar has suddenly and shockingly fallen from the grace and tagged from peace icon to Pariah as she qualified the mass exodus of Rohingyas to inter-communal violence rather than genocide in her famous speech. She made a rare admission that disproportionate force was used by Defence Forces, in some cases, in disregard of International Laws. However, the Rohingyas mass killings; strictly qualify for 'Genocide' that intends to destroy a particular group in an area. The Rohingya is a stateless Muslim minority in Myanmar.

The vast majority reached Bangladesh are women and children and more than forty percent are under the age of 12. Mohammad, who fled and trapped in Bangladesh with his family, exclaims they burnt our houses and drove us out by shooting, we walked for three days through the jungle'. Mass massacre of Rohingya Muslims in the early 21st Century would petition peace to other nations and its clear understanding for the other parts of the world. Was it strictly Intercommunal violence? Or was it genocide by intent or by fault? Aung San Suu Kyi's silence over the gross atrocities and her clear failure to champion her lifelong cause; is a high concern for human rights activists. She could not distinctly standup for the dream after assuming the power for which she struggled for decades out of power corridors? Justice for Rohingyas is still a long way off.

Pakistan at United Nations Human Rights Commission in September 2019; reitertaed that Kashmir has been converted into the largest open prison with its people being denied basic human amenities and thousands of civilians and political leaders are under detention. The genocide of Kashmiris along with atrocities could not knock the doors of Human Rights councils, the repositories of world's consciousness and justice.

The long awaited, UN session envisaged to hallmark the new constitutional paradigm in Kashmir, was astonishingly dominated by climate change and poor economy. Right narrative of radical religion took priority over the gross human right violations in Kashmir. The deep silence by the regional leaders and screams of Kashmiris coexisted and stayed unheard and unspoken. Former Serbian Army Commander Mladic's forces in tune has systematically murdered several thousand Bosnian Muslims; the crimes committed during the time ranked among the most heinous known to human kind.

Bosnians Genocide of horror and crime of more than hundred thousand people, in 1995, is an epic instance of simultaneous ethnic cleansing and genocide. International Criminal Tribunal during his trial wrote a verdict of more than two thousand five hundred and twenty-six pages long. the product of a five-year long trial'. This legal endeavor for the Serbian people would bring voice to the world community but would it bring in peace to other parts of world suffering under human right violations. When and where this legal verdict will speak.
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Author:Iffat Farooq
Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Apr 9, 2020
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