Will Pakistani jets be used against Rohingya Muslims?

JF-17

Persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is a hot topic. Sirajul Haq has demanded that Ambassador Myanmar be expelled. TTP are calling for jihad. Nawaz has announced $5 million in food aid. Military’s position is not completely clear, but there may be a reason for that.

Last year, Myanmar was reportedly planning to purchase JF-17 fighters to expand the capabilities of its air force. The JF-17 is a joint project of China and Pakistan. A few months ago, a source inside the Defence Ministry told Chinese media that a contract for the fighter jets has been signed, though officials in Myanmar have not confirmed this. PAF will be showing off the new JF-17 fighter jet at the Paris Air Show this week, and there seems to be full agreement that Myanmar is still a “prospective client”.

This raises an uncomfortable question. While the nation protests brutalities against Rohingya Muslims, will those same Rohingya face the terror of attacks by Pakistani fighter jets?

EDITORS NOTE: Dawn journalist Zarrar Khuhro noted that this piece could be confusing to some readers. As he correctly pointed out, airstrikes are not currently being conducted against Rohingya. The author did not intend to make any such claim. Rather, he was using a “hypothetical extreme” to make the point that while we are raising hue and cry over persecution of Rohingya Muslims, at the same time we are possibly selling weapons to the persecutors. We regret any confusion that may have been caused.

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