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Pakistan urges international community to mitigate Rohingya crisis

Pakistan's foreign office urged upon the international community to work together to mitigate the Rohingya crisis.

Pakistan on Wednesday expressing sorrow over the deaths of Rohingya refugees at a camp in Bangladesh called upon the international community to pay attention to their continued sufferings.

“We are saddened by a massive fire in Rohingya camp at Cox’s Bazar resulting in deaths and destruction,” the Foreign Office said in a tweet.

“Our thoughts are with victims & their families. The incident is a sad reminder of continued sufferings of Rohingya Muslims,” it said.

The Foreign Office urged upon the international community to work together to mitigate the Rohingya crisis.

Bangladesh defends use of fences after Rohingya camp blaze

Bangladesh on Wednesday defended the use of barbed-wire fences around vast camps holding almost a million Rohingya refugees, after a major fire left at least 15 people dead and nearly 50,000 homeless.

The fire, which gutted some 10,000 refugee shanties, was the deadliest since more than 740,000 Rohingya fled a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017 that UN investigators concluded was executed with “genocidal intent”.

Read more: Bangladesh claims Rohingya relocation is life-saver

The UN, aid groups and Rohingya leaders said that the fences erected by the military hampered rescue work and caused injuries during Monday’s 12-hour blaze in the maze of bamboo-and-tarp huts.

“Rescue efforts proved to be challenging as a result of the presence of perimeter fencing,” a joint statement from the United Nations, local and international aid agencies said

“In some instances, refugees themselves cut through the fence to escape the fire,” it said.

Bangladesh refugee commissioner Shah Rezwan Hayat defended the fences, which were built in recent months amid a worsening law and order situation in the vast settlements.

“I don’t believe these fences have hampered rescue efforts. There were enough roads in the camps and the hundreds of our officials, policemen and volunteers were there to rescue them,” he told AFP.

He said the fences were not built inside the camps to act as barriers between blocks of shanties.

Read more: Indian-administered Kashmir cracks down on Rohingya

“The barbed-wire fences were erected on the outer boundary of the camps to ensure the safety and security of the Rohingya people. If the fencing acted as a barrier, how could dozens of fire fighting vehicles, police vans enter the camps within 20 minutes after the fire?” he said.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk