Since the beginning of the year, no less than 1,300 Rohingya Muslims crossed the border into Bangladesh from India, where many of them had been living for years. The exodus was triggered due to fears that India would forcibly turn them over to Myanmar, as it did other members of the persecuted minority, having succumbed to the demands of Hindu extremists. We find the development very troubling and disappointing.
Bangladesh is already faced with more than a million Rohingya refugees, who had to flee Myanmar to avoid the armys brutal genocidal campaign. With thousands more coming from India, the situation will undoubtedly become more daunting.
India is a close neighbour with which we share a deep friendship. The government of India is well aware of the developments in Myanmar, where Rohingyas have faced pogroms and persecution. The flow of Rohingyas from India, instead of easing the crisis, is contributing to its exacerbation. Before this, Saudi Arabia reportedly deported undocumented Rohingya migrants who had gone there with illegally obtained Bangladeshi passports.
Just because Bangladesh responded to a humanitarian crisis positively, it seems to have become the transfer station for unwanted Rohingyas. Meanwhile, Myanmar—the ancestral home of the Rohingya people—has all but closed the path of repatriation.
We wonder whether the government is in sync with reality and whether it has any plan or strategy to deal with the crisis. Bangladesh should resolutely make its case in the world stage. It cannot let the world think that the issue is only ours to solve. It should warn the world that a prolonged crisis may have ramifications for both regional and global stability.