India is all set to welcome Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on her first tour of India from 3-6 October after her victory in election in December 2018. This also PM Modi’s first meet with his Bangladeshi counterpart after his landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Agendas have been set for both the nation to talk about and for Bangladesh the hottest topic would be the problem of NRC, that is the prospect of deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, as reported by Hindustan Times. Also, as Sheikh Hasina struggles to repatriate Rohingyas back to Myanmar, she has blamed Myanmar for not building an environment conducive enough to earn the Rohingyas’ trust and has called for India’s help. Chances are that Sheikh Hasina desperately seeks India’s help in dealing with the Rohingyas by creating pressure on Myanmar for accepting its Rohingyas stranded in camps in Bangladesh. This meeting is an opportunity for both India and Bangladesh to solve their illegal immigrant problems.
Bangladesh itself is facing an acute problem from the influx of illegal Rohingyas and is seeking help from its neighbouring countries for a solution. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas, most of whom entered the country after August 25, 2017, when fleeing the brutal offense launched by Myanmar, targeting the mainly Muslim ethnic minority. Although Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a repatriation deal on November 23, 2017, not a single person, has so far been repatriated. And for this failure Sheikh Hasina has blamed Myanmar and sought help from neighbouring countries.
“We’ve seen Myanmar could not win Rohingya’s trust in creating a conducive situation (in Rakhine) for their dignified return,” Sheikh Hasina said in parliament late Wednesday. She informed that she had asked other Asian nations including China, India and Japan to help resolve the crisis. India has always been like an elder brother to Bangladesh and keen to help it in any situation. India is “deeply conscious” of the humanitarian, and security implications Bangladesh is facing due to the influx of migrants from Myanmar. India has also urged the world to help Bangladesh cope with the “humanitarian burden” that was placed upon the country with the influx of a huge number of Rohingyas who have settled in Cox’s Bazar and other parts of Bangladesh.
According to the Annual Security Outlook 2019 released by ASEAN, India has praised Bangladesh’s generosity and recognized the economic burden this crisis place upon the country’s society and economy.
As India has shown its generous nature and extended its support to Bangladesh, the Rohingya crisis is likely to be addressed again by Sheikh Hasina during her meeting with PM Narendra Modi.
This will be the perfect time for Bangladesh and India to settle the matter of the deportation of illegal immigrants from India to Bangladesh. During the talks, the Bangladeshi side is expected to bring up its concerns about those excluded from the NRC in Assam and seek help from India in dealing with Myanmar. Bangladesh’s plan to repatriate Rohingyas is similar to that of India’s plan with illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. According to Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali, “So sooner Rohingyas are settled in their home, the better it is.” He further said, “Otherwise, the stateless Rohingyas in their desperation could emerge as a major threat to peace and security in our region and beyond.”
In the recent past Bangladesh has become one of the prominent allies of India in the neighbourhood. Even after the abrogation of article 370, Bangladesh was among the first group of countries that considered it as India’s internal matter. Also, at a meeting of UNHRC, Bangladesh extended its support to India.
India and Bangladesh are working together on all fields of cooperation, including military–to–military ties, capacity building, creation of shared energy infrastructure, improved transport links (land, sea, inland waterway and air), and easier movement of people. And as such, Bangladesh could propose to take back illegal Bangladeshi immigrants from India, as it seeks help to send Rohingyas back to Myanmar. This will solve the problem of both nations and will be a wise step towards maintaining peace in south Asia.