‘Bangladeshis aren’t termites’ — FM Abdul Momen says concept of unlawful immigration to India improper

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The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen | yield

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New Delhi: Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen argued on Friday that his country had performed well on a number of economic indicators and therefore few left in search of jobs or a better life.

“Bangladeshis are not termites,” Momen said in an exclusive interview with ThePrint’s Strategic Affairs Editor Jyoti Malhotra. “The perception that a lot of Bangladeshis are moving to India is not true because Bangladesh is doing pretty well … It is the land of opportunity. It’s a living economy. If the economy is going well, people will not move out of the country. So this perception is wrong. ”

Momen answered a question about the perception in India that Bangladeshis are “infiltrators” after the Modi government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

However, the Foreign Minister reiterated that the CAA was India’s internal affair, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had previously communicated this to his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sheikh Hasina.

“Our Prime Minister raised it, and Prime Minister Modi has repeatedly said that this is their internal problem and that it will not affect India-Bangladesh relations at all,” he said.

Although the Foreign Minister did not mention when the oral exchange took place, It is likely that Hasina brought it up when she was in Delhi in 2019.

Momen spoke to ThePrint on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Dhaka On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh from Pakistan and the 100th birthday of the country’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. This is Modi’s first visit abroad since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Regarding Modi, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh had great confidence in the Indian Prime Minister. “We believe in him (Modi). We trust him. He’s our confidante, ”Momen said.

Also read: Delhi, Dhaka is working on economic partnership for trade in goods and services: Ambassador of Bangladesh

“Pakistan has shown no remorse”

On the 50th anniversary of his country’s independence, Momen said that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan did so written to Prime Minister Hasina Thursday but expressed no remorse for events that led to the liberation of Bangladesh.

“Pakistan would be wise if they would express their sadness by apologizing to the people of Bangladesh,” Momen said.

“Yesterday the Prime Minister of Pakistan (Imran Khan) sent a message for [Bangladesh’s] golden anniversary. I expected him to say he felt bad about the past. Unfortunately that was missing. “

Bangladesh declared independence on March 26, 1971, the day after the Pakistani army allegedly killed several unarmed civilians. It sparked a war of liberation that supposedly nearly killed Three million People.

On December 16, 1971, the Pakistani army surrendered to Bangladeshi freedom fighters and Indian soldiers, marking the formation of what was then East Pakistan as the new nation of Bangladesh.

In the interview, Momen said that while he hopes Pakistan will punish war criminals responsible for the murder of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman one day, the country must look ahead.

Mujibur Rahman, a leading figure in the Bangladeshi freedom movement, was murdered four years after the liberation in 1975. The Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is his daughter.

Also read: Modi welcomes Bangabandhu, says Delhi Dhaka’s partner in honoring the Bangladesh trip

India, Bangladesh model neighbors

The Foreign Minister also mentioned that Bangladesh and India are an example of how neighboring countries can solve any difficult problem, such as land borders and river water sharing, “without shooting a single bullet”.

New Delhi and Dhaka signed a border agreement on June 6, 2015. Relief a land swap between the two countries to solve problems arising from an indefinite land border. In 2015 Modi had be committed however, the establishment of a river water sharing mechanism between the two countries, in particular to address the controversial problem of the Teesta River, has yet to be resolved.

Momen also mentioned that during Modi’s visit, the two prime ministers will unveil the Haldibari-Chilahati cross-border rail link, as well as other projects.

“Islamic fundamentalism is over”

When asked about Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh such as the terrorist attack in the Holey Artisan Cafe in 2016, Momen said: “This happened a few years ago. It’s over. There has been no such terrorism since then. ”

In 2019 there were seven Islamists sentenced to death for the attack on the Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people, most of whom were foreigners.

However, Momen said that there is still “poison and hatred” in the South Asian region. “You should look at our neighbor Myanmar,” he said, citing the example of the displaced Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar to seek refuge in Bangladesh in recent years.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Modi, Hasina must lay the foundation for a borderless economy between India and Bangladesh

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