Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Tighten border with Myanmar

Tighten border with Myanmar

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Why wasn’t our border with Myanmar strengthened more even after decades of Rohingya infiltration, smuggling of Yaba and drugs is incomprehensible to us. The military regimes in Myanmar have been taking undue advantage of our porous borders with them to push their Rohingya population into Bangladeshi territory year after year. What prevented us from taking appropriate steps to increase vigilance along the 271 kilometre border existing with Myanmar in the Cox's Bazar and Bandarban districts of which Teknaf Upazila alone shares 54 kilometre border with Myanmar? Therefore, no wonder the boldness of the Myanmar junta kept on increasing in view of our lethargic response towards their aggressive activities to the extent that they are even sending firearms into Bangladesh.

If it isn’t bad enough that Yaba and other harmful addictive drugs have been coming into the country through our porous borders with Myanmar and other countries for decades, now imagine the consequence of arms being smuggled into the country. For years, we seemed happy with catching huge consignments of drugs and other contraband items without pushing ourselves to go that extra mile to put an end to the entry of these harmful things into our country. On the other hand, Myanmar has been vigilantly manning their borders with Bangladesh, having built barbed wire fences and watchtowers to ensure security of their territory.

It is high time that someone in authority took some strong decision in matters pertaining to securing our border with Myanmar. Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen stated that if necessary firing will be carried out in the border areas with Myanmar to stop smuggling of arms, drugs and human trafficking. It is not as if we have not witnessed any of our neighbouring countries practising such border vigilance and shooting down smugglers and infiltrators along their border with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has shown immense patience in dealing with Myanmar over the Rohingya issue, whereas Myanmar has been taking advantage of our polite diplomacy in this and other matters. We hope that the words uttered by our honourable foreign minister will be promptly followed up. The government must tighten the security of our border with Myanmar to stop smuggling of drugs and arms as well as prevent any more Rohingyas pouring in from Myanmar. We should not be fooled any more by a neighbour like Myanmar.