Bangladesh wants India to raise Rohingya issue in UN
DHAKA/KOLKATA: Bangladesh wants Myanmar to take back the Rohingya refugees and it expects India to move a resolution in the United Nations for the same, Bangladesh minister Mosharraf Hossain said on Friday.
It is not sustainable for a poor country like Bangladesh to carry on feeding the huge number of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar for a very long time, he said.
"We would like India to move a resolution in the United Nations to call on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas from Bangladesh as we cannot keep them lifelong with our limited resources," the Bangladesh minister for Housing and Public Works said.
Hossain said it was due to humanitarian reasons that Bangladesh decided to give shelter to the Rohingyas.
"Had we pushed them back, they would have been killed," he said. An estimated 6,20,000 Rohingyas have entered Bangladesh following an Army crackdown on rebels in Myanmar.
At least 6,700 Rohingya Muslims, including at least 730 children under the age of five, were killed in the first month of a crackdown that started in August in Myanmar's northern Rakhine state, according to an estimate released by Doctors Without Borders.
An international humanitarian NGO, Doctors Without Borders is best known for its work in war-torn regions and developing countries affected by endemic diseases.
Asked about terrorist outfits using Bangladesh soil for nefarious activities, the minister said, "We have a zero- tolerance policy towards terrorism."
Bangladesh acts very strongly against any terrorist act on its soil, he said.
The minister is leading a 72-member delegation from his country to celebrate India's victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war and the subsequent liberation of Bangladesh on December 16.
A Mukti Joddha (freedom fighter), Hossain actively participated in the Liberation War for his country and had blown up a crucial bridge during the 1971 conflict, affecting supplies to the Pakistan Army inthe eastern theatre, a defence official said.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh police arrested an alleged human trafficker and intercepted two Rohingyarefugees preparing to board a boat for Malaysia, officials said on Friday.
Police acting on a tip-off raided a home near the coastal town of Teknaf in southeastern Bangladesh, where five people had assembled ahead of a promised voyage across the Bay of Bengal. Two Rohingya Muslims, both men, were among the group.
The pair had arrived from Myanmar since August, when a surge of violence in Rakhine state forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya across the border.