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Kamal seeks help of friendly countries to resolve Rohingya issue

Myanmar’s displaced nationals pose security risk, he says

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 21 July, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Kamal seeks help of friendly countries to resolve Rohingya issue

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Wednesday sought cooperation of friendly countries to resolve the Rohingya issue, saying Bangladesh will be in severe crisis as the Myanmar’s forcibly displaced nationals are getting involved in different kinds of crimes here.

“Bangladesh is facing security risks along the border due to smuggling of drugs and weapons by Rohingyas,” he said while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled ‘Rohingya & Narco Terrorism’ organised by Diplomats Publication at hotel Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden.

The minister said Bangladesh is under increased pressure and risk in many ways by sheltering Rohingyas. Of those, drug smuggling, human trafficking and border security are significant, he said.

He said Bangladesh has to take this pressure and burden of Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds. “Bangladesh is the victim of the drugs though it is not producing any of them. Therefore, I want the cooperation of friendly countries to resolve the Rohingya problem,” he added.

Asaduzzaman said Yaba is made in Myanmar but its victim is Bangladesh. “Rohingyas are being used as carriers and smugglers. Rohingya area is being used as a drug base.”

Mentioning that the crime of drug smuggling is on the rise along the border, he said the number of drug seizures in the Rohingya area has also increased. “Synthetic drugs are coming across the border.”

The minister placed data about how much drug smuggling has increased since 2017 after Rohingyas were given shelter in Cox’s Bazar.

In his speech as a special guest, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said the drug smuggling and other crimes have increased along the border. “The number of drug seizures in the Rohingya area has also increased. Synthetic drugs are coming across the border where Rohingyas are working as carriers.”

He said arms smuggling has become a threat to law enforcement agencies. “Rohingya camps are at the centre of smuggling. Human trafficking is happening from Rohingya camps. Police, Ansar, BGB, APBn and army deployed there are trying to prevent crimes and arrest the criminals.”

The foreign secretary said the transfer of Rohingyas to Bhasan Char will decrease the incidence of human trafficking.

He said almost 50 percent of the Rohingyas who have taken shelter in Bangladesh are children, many of whom are involved in terrorism and drug smuggling.

Masud Bin Mumin said the Rohingya problem should be highlighted in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Pointing out that Myanmar created the Rohingya crisis, he said, “It made political commitment to resolve it. We expect Myanmar to keep its political promises and take back the Rohingya citizens.”

Prof Dr Imtiaz Ahmed of the Department International Relations at Dhaka University was the keynote speaker at the event.

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Dulaihan said, “Saudi Arabia supports all the international efforts to repatriate the Rohingya to their homeland in Myanmar. So, we call for diplomatic negotiation to repatriate the Rohingyas to their homeland, rather than putting them to refugee camps with unknown future.”

British High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson, security analyst and former Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain, former Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division Lt Gen (retd) Mahfuzur Rahman, Prof Delwar Hossain, Prof Sahab Enam Khan, Prof Dr Mohammad Mozahidul Islam and high commissioners and ambassadors of some countries were also present on the occasion.