Dhaka, 9 April, Abnews: India cannot put too much of pressure on Myanmar on Rohingya issue considering its strategic issues with Myanmar as it might become counterproductive and China can take advantage of it, says an Indian expert.
“We cannot put too much of pressure on Myanmar because there are issues, as far as Myanmar is concerned and we have strategic issue of China,” said Dr Pushpita Das, a research fellow and coordinator of the Internal Security Centre at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi.
She, however, said whatever India can do is to provide greater humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh at the same time whatever pressure it can put without “really pushing Myanmar into the lap of China.”
The Indian expert came up with the observation at a bilateral conclave on ‘Bangladesh-India Relations: Deepening Cooperation and the Way Ahead’ at Sonargaon Hotel in the city. The Institute for Policy, Advocacy and Governance (IPAG) arranged the daylong event.
Pushpita, while discussing in the first session titled ‘Security, Counter Terrorism and Cross Border Cooperation’ said the Indian government believes that Rohingyas are a security threat for India because these Rohingyas are vulnerable to the influences of global Islamic jihadist group.
“So it is not in the Indian interest to house these Rohingyas inside India.
There is also another thinking that if we house these Rohingays, we have to provide facilities from the existing resources. While doing so, we will be depriving Indian citizens and this will in the longer term lead to resentment against Rohingyas and social disharmony,” she explained.
The Indian expert said India does not share direct border with the Rakhine state and so refugees are coming into Bangladesh. “Now do we accept these refugees? The government says no. What we can do we can help Bangladesh in providing greater humanitarian assistance.”
She said India can use their diplomatic initiatives and to some extent put pressure on Myanmar for the repatriation of these Rohingyas.
The other panelists former Chief of Army Staff in Bangladesh Army Gen Md Abdul Mubeen, Professor Dr Rashed Uz Zaman of International Relations, DU, and Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain, former GOC 15 Corps and Military Secretary of India also discussed the various aspects of security issues between the two countries including cross border crime, militancy and border cooperation.
India is keen to see an early solution to the Rohingya crisis as it thinks the issue might emerge as a “serious security concern” for them having borders with both Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The issue came up during a closed-door meeting between a selected group of people representing media and civil society and Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale at a city hotel on Sunday evening.