Dhaka seeks Delhi's help for safe return of refugees
Dhaka: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the Government of India to pressurise Myanmar for safe return of Rohingya refugees to the Rakhine province of that country. The Prime Minister also pitched an early solution to the much anticipated Teesta river water sharing agreement between the two countries.
Hasina stated this while interacting with the visiting Indian journalists at her residence Gana Bhavan on Tuesday.
Replying to a wide range of questions from the Indian mediapersons, she said India should do more and assert its influence on Myanmarese government to rehabilitate the refugees and ensure their safe return to Rakhine State.
Describing the crisis as a humanitarian issue, Hasina warned that these (Rohingya) refugees should return home before the onset of monsoon as it could create a human disaster during the stormy rainy season.
Hasina also was very candid while answering a question on problems of terrorism emanating from the soil of Bangladesh and she said, "We have made a state policy that the land of Bangladesh will not be used for anti-India activities. But at the same time neglecting the issue of Rohingya may create a condition favourable to terrorism." She said her government already cracked down many terrorist camps of the northeast and insurgents groups.
Hasina also informed the visiting Indian journalists that already more than a million refugees have given shelter in Cox's bazaar and her governments has made identity cards for all of them. She further pointed out that in the era of global terrorism her country's security agencies are continuously keeping a close watch on them. The PM also observed that all five countries which have a common boundary with Myanmar should find a joint solution to end this crisis and disclosed that she had already directed her F`oreign minister AH Mahmood Ali to talk with his counterparts of Thailand, Laos, India, and China.
On the question of much awaited Teesta river water sharing agreement, she expressed hope that one day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for whom she sent special good wishes on the day of 21st February, the day of International mother language day, will agree to sign the agreement. PM Hasina also said Mamata had never opposed the Teesta river agreement in principle but promised to endorse some day.
The Bangladesh also asked India not to worry about Dhaka's growing ties with China, asserting that the cooperation with Beijing was meant only for the country's development.
Hasina said her government was only concerned about the development, and is ready to cooperate with any country that helps Bangladesh's growth.