Displaced people from Myanmar are frustrated and vulnerable to becoming extremists, Bangladesh Foreign Minister said today, urging India to help push for early Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar.
Bangladesh has today once again strongly reiterated that India should help by taking up the Rohingya refugees repatriation issue with Myanmar and at the United Nations to help Bangladesh which is sheltering about a million of them for almost half a decade now. The bilateral Joint Consultative Commission (JCC) in New Delhi slated to happen on May 30 has been postponed to next month after mutual consent, officials said.
Talking exclusively to NDTV on the sidelines of a river conclave in Assam’s Guwahati, the visiting Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said that Bangladesh is apprehensive that many Rohingya youths might join extremist organisations and disrupt peace in the sub-continent so India should influence Myanmar to start repatriation of the Rohingyas.
This has been Bangladesh’s formal stand for some time and is expected to figure in the JCC meeting between the two neighbours.
“1.1 million displaced Rohingyas of Myanmar are sheltered in Bangladesh. They have no future. They are stateless. They are frustrated. They are vulnerable to becoming terrorists,” Dr Momen told NDTV in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence conclave at Guwahati on Saturday.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bangladesh counterpart AK Abdul Momen will in June co-chair a meeting for a comprehensive review of relations between the two sides. The JCC is a crucial meeting to help prepare the grounds for Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s planned visit to India, which is expected to take place early in July, sources added.
The repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh is expected to be taken up during the JCC, sources further added.
“Terrorism has no borders, so our fear is if they become extremists they will try to create uncertainty. That situation will not only affect Bangladesh or Myanmar, it will affect all neighbouring countries including India. For security and stability, countries around Myanmar should resolve it. India is a member of the Security Council; they are good friends of Myanmar and can influence Myanmar. The ASEAN countries should also pitch in, that’s our appeal. Myanmar has a history — they kicked out the people but later they took them back with honour and dignity — so they will take them back if there is regional pressure” Dr Momen added.