The Rakhine Bengali community, popularly referred to as Rohingyas, remains unwanted wherever they go. That includes a country of fellow Muslims, Bangladesh, suggests Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed's comment. She wants India's help in sending the group back to their home country, Myanmar.
"Well, you know… for us, it’s a big burden. India is a vast country. You can accommodate, but you don’t have much. But in our country, we have 1.1 million Rohingyas. So, we are consulting with the international community and also our neighbouring countries. They should also take some steps so that they can go back home," Hasina said in an interview with news agency ANI.
Hasina said that her government had tried to take care of the displaced community on humanitarian grounds.
"On humanitarian grounds, we give them shelter and provide everything… During Covid, we vaccinated all the Rohingya community. But how long will they stay here? In the camp where they are staying, our environmental hazard is there. Then some people engage in drug trafficking, some arms conflict, or women's trafficking. Day by day, it is increasing."
"So as quickly as they return home, it is good for our country and also for Myanmar. We have been trying our best to pursue them. We’re discussing with them and also with the international community, like ASEAN or UN, and then other countries," the prime minister of Bangladesh said.
"But India, as a neighbouring country, can play a big role in it. I feel that," Hasina said.
During the interview, the prime minister of Bangladesh was asked about her country’s cooperation with India on sharing the Teesta territory, to which she replied that while there were challenges, they could be resolved mutually.
"It is very sad that we are in a… you know… downstream. So water is coming from India, so India should show more generosity. Because both countries will be beneficiaries. Sometimes our people suffer a lot because of this need for water. Especially Teesta, we could not go for harvest and so many problems took place," Hasina said.
"I think it should be solved but, yes, we found that the Prime Minister is very… you know… eager to solve this problem, but the problem is in your country. So… we hope that it should, you know… it should be solved," Hasina said.
The prime minister of Bangladesh that the two countries shared the water of the Ganga. "Only Ganges water we share. The water, we signed the treaty. But we have another 54 rivers. Yes… It's a long standing problem, so it should be solved," Hasina added.