Rohingya Issue: India & B’desh Foreign Secys To Meet On Table


New Delhi: Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque is likely to meet Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Thursday when the Rohingya crisis is expected to be discussed.

Accoding to report, Haque, who arrived in New Delhi Tuesday, is also meeting Indian officials to deal with the Rohingya crisis, with which Dhaka is grappling because of the arrival of refugees.

The two foreign secretaries will also discuss possible dates for the visit of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Dhaka for a joint consultative commission meeting, possibly around October 22-23.

Sources said that while the Rohingya issue will be one of the key matters to be discussed, both sides will review the entire gamut of bilateral relations.

This comes days after India reassured Bangladesh of extending “diplomatic and humanitarian” support on the Rohingya issue as Dhaka presented its case to the envoys of the UN Security Council member states here. More than 4.36 lakh refugees have crossed the border from Myanmar’s Rakhine state since August 25 when a military crackdown was launched following attacks on security forces, allegedly by a Rohingya group.

“We are fully supportive of Bangladesh. We will continue to stand beside Bangladesh diplomatically and (in a) humanitarian way,” India’s High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla said during an event to mark the signing of a cooperation deal between a Bangladeshi and an Indian health facility.

Swaraj had earlier expressed India’s full support to Bangladesh’s stance over the Rohingya issue as international concern grows over the fate of the refugees. A Bangladesh government official said this year’s JCC meeting is “crucial” for the relations between the two neighbours.

Former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty was recently cited in an article published by the Indian think tank Observer Research Foundation. He said: “This problem is a test for (Bangladesh Prime Minister) Sheikh Hasina. Since Bangladesh will hold national elections in 2018, her political opponents will attack her. They will also test her friendship with India.”