Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the loss of life and property of Rohingya Muslims in ethnic clashes in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar.

In a letter addressed to his Myanmarese counterpart, Zardari called for hastening the process of rehabilitation of Rohingya Muslims so that they can return to their homes and lead a "safe and secure life".

The government and people of Pakistan "were saddened to learn about the losses of the Muslims and were deeply concerned about their plight", Zardari said.

Underlining the importance of peaceful co-existence of various communities for the strengthening of democracy in Myanmar, Zardari said "communal harmony is imperative to reap the fruits of democracy".

He said only peaceful coexistence of different communities would ensure that the democratic transition in Myanmar is not reversed.

Zardari's letter to the President of Myanmar came in the wake of widespread protests by Pakistan's hardline religious and extremist groups against the attacks on the Rohingya Muslims.

Violence between Buddhists and Rohingyas erupted in Rakhine state in June, leaving nearly 80 dead.

However, some commentators have criticised Pakistani political parties and religious groups for raising the issue of the Rohingyas while ignoring widespread human rights abuses in Balochistan and sectarian attacks on the minority Shia sect.


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