In this file photo, Rohingya Muslim children, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, wait to receive aid during a distribution near Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh. AP Photo
India says it is putting in its best efforts to find a sustainable solution to Rohingya crisis "standing beside" Bangladesh and ruled out the notion of any non-cooperation from its side.
During interactions with Indian government officials and experts in New Delhi, the Indian side explained its balanced position over the issue and conveyed that they are not blocking any process in finding a solution to the Rohingya crisis.
"It's not true that India isn't with Bangladesh over Rohingya issue. Things need to be done in a safe, secure and sustainable manner,” an official told UNB.
Observer Research Foundation (ORF) senior fellow Dr Joyeeta Bhattacharjee said she strongly believes that the Rohingya crisis needs a permanent and sustainable solution.
But, she said, they will have to deal with realities on the ground and lots need to be done. "Efforts are there but not enough yet."
Joyeeta mentioned that India is also working in Rakhine State as it shares huge border with Myanmar.
Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh Md Touhid Hossain recently said Rohingya issue remains one of the biggest challenges for the government of Bangladesh as what he says China, India, Russia, even Japan are not with Bangladesh on the issue.
However, Joyeeta said India's intention is very clear and there have always been efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Rohingya crisis.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said there is often interest and sometimes “uninformed speculation” about their position on the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State of Myanmar, and its impact upon Bangladesh.
India says it is deeply appreciative of the spirit of humanism that motivated Bangladesh to offer shelter to nearly one million displaced people. "And we fully recognise and sympathise with the enormous burden that you’re facing."
During his recent visit to Bangladesh, Shringla said as the only country that is an actual neighbour of both Bangladesh and Myanmar, they are committed to offering the fullest support for any mutually-acceptable solution that will enable the earliest possible return of displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State and to a life of dignity.
He said that this should be done in a manner that is “safe, secure and sustainable”.
India provided five tranches of aid to the camps in Cox’s Bazar through the government of Bangladesh, and are ready to do more.
“In parallel, we’re investing in the socio-economic development of the Rakhine area, including housing, so that there’s an incentive not only for people to return, but also for all communities to focus on cooperative solutions for economic development, rather than compete for limited resources,” said the Indian Foreign Secretary.
India made it clear that they are consistent in their interventions with the government of Myanmar at all levels, on the importance of closing IDP camps, facilitating socio-economic development projects, and in offering a conducive environment to encourage displaced persons to return to their homes in Myanmar from Bangladesh.
In other words, Shringla said, there is no difference between India and Bangladesh on the way forward in addressing this major humanitarian problem.
“All we suggest in this regard is that we encourage diverse stakeholders to lower the rhetoric and find practical and pragmatic solutions, bearing in mind that the priority is finding a fair and dignified humanitarian outcome,” he said.
Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox's Bazar district and most of them entered Bangladesh since August 25, 2017 amid military crackdowns in Rakhine State.