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Myanmar emerges as the next ‘Afghanistan’ in the region

Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, ARSA, Myanmar, Rohingya refugee crisis, Middle Eastern nations, Saudi Arabia, Hezbollah, Hamas, Pakistani spy agency, ISI

Counterterrorism

Myanmar emerges as the next ‘Afghanistan’ in the region

With the international community failing to mount any real pressure on Myanmar on resolving Rohingya refugee crisis, the military junta is becoming more entrenched in what it might appear to be playing multiple cards in somehow closing the doors for Rohingyas permanently from returning to their own country. To prove Rohingyas as extremely radicalized Muslims with jihadist mindset, Myanmar authorities are helping several key leader of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) with almost monopoly in making millions of dollars through dealing into yaba pills. Currently Myanmar manufactured yaba pills, which also is known as captagon, meth, sabu and methamphetamine are being smuggled to the Middle Eastern nations, especially Saudi Arabia as well as other countries in Asia, America and Europe mostly by transnational drug trafficking syndicates, which are being controlled by Hezbollah, Hamas, Dawood Ibrahim’s D Company and ARSA. Myanmar junta even are helping ARSA and other Rohingya terrorist groups in buying various types of weapons and explosives under the pre-condition that those won’t be used in Myanmar soil.

But things may not remain under the control of Myanmar authorities for long, as Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) as well as global terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State already are helping Rohingyas in buying weapons and explosives from the global black-market. It may be mentioned here that members of Rohingya jihadist group ARSA are currently getting training from Pakistani ISI in several locations within the mountainous areas in Nepal as well as Afghanistan and Gaza. Rohingya jihadists also are joining mega-terror outfit Hamas in terrorist activities against Israel.

While Myanmar authorities are succeeding in permanently closing doors of return of over one million Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and other countries, the months of peaceful civilian protests that have been brutally suppressed by the military authorities are now beginning to morph into a response in kind, and anti-government militias are growing fast. If things continue down this path, we are looking at a bloody civil war.

Myanmar populace are this time determined in defeating military junta even at the expense of millions of lives as they think, if nothing can be done this time in ousting the military from power through a massive civil revolt and execute at least few hundred beneficiaries of military rule, the country will ultimately become a land of military atrocities and there would never be any democracy at least within the next 50-60 years.

The fundamental issue is that the people of Myanmar seem determined that this time military dictatorship will not stand. They have tolerated this kind of tyranny for years, and the current military government appears to believe that they will do so once again. But after a decade of apparent progress toward democracy, and consecutive elections that were free, if not exactly fair, things appear to have changed decisively.

Moreover, the excesses of violence committed against ordinary civilians as part of a desperate attempt to impose control over the country have undermined any moral claim to authority that the military used to have in Myanmar.

It used to be the case that the military could claim they were there to protect the people from other threats. But in recent months, the overwhelming majority of people have come to see the military as the biggest threat to their lives and well-being. Dozens of children have been killed already since the coup, shot dead in their own homes or for playing in the streets of their hometowns, to give just one example. That will not be forgotten.

The tragedy of the situation is that amid the brutality dished out by the military, it is understandable that people would want to take up arms to defend themselves. If we found ourselves in their shoes, we would likely also want to do the same. But as things stand, such a conflict appears unwinnable. The result will only be a downward spiral of violence that will turn Myanmar into a failed state.

Unless there is any real action from the international community in exerting tremendous pressure on Myanmar’s military junta in resolving Rohingya refugee crisis forthwith, this country soon will become another ‘Afghanistan’ in the region.

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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