Criticising the Awami League government's failure to effectively resolve the Rohingya crisis, the BNP called for increased pressure on the Myanmar military government from the United Nations, ASEAN, the EU, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Addressing a seminar organised at a city hotel on Sunday, leaders of the party welcomed the Rigorous Military Accountability (Burma) Act recently enacted by the United States that supports democracy in Myanmar as the Rohingya crisis is mounting pressure on Bangladesh's economy and a threat to national security.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir said, "Rohingya Communities have the right to go safely back to their homeland with their Myanmar citizenship. And this is also a regional, global, and Bangladeshi security issue.
"Bangladesh's incumbent government without people's mandate, focusing more on protecting its illegitimate power, itself marred with an awful human rights violation record. So for their own survival, the fascist regime is compromising with the greater national interest of Bangladesh."
While presenting a keynote paper titled "Rohingya Crisis and Repatriation Strategy" at the seminar, BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, said, "On 21 December 2022, the United Nations Security Council passed a historic resolution regarding the situation in Myanmar, a development we welcome. However, while the resolution acknowledges the basic needs of the people of Myanmar, we are disappointed to note the absence of provisions for justice and accountability for the gravest international crimes committed against the Rohingya people, including genocide. We urge the UN Security Council to take action and ensure that the Rohingya community can return to their homeland in Rakhine State in a dignified and protected manner, with full recognition of their ethnic and citizenship rights. Additionally, we call for full compliance with the provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice."
Amir Khasru, also convener of BNP's foreign affairs committee, emphasized the need for a fresh approach to the Rohingya crisis, considering Bangladesh's historic transition. He criticized the Awami League government for its reluctance to pursue a comprehensive, international effort to address the crisis, instead favoring a bilateral approach.
"The current Awami League regime's failure to grasp the crisis's severity is evident in their reluctance to pursue a comprehensive, international effort to address it. The government's inability to repatriate a single Rohingya to their homeland reflects a profound diplomatic setback. It remains perplexing why the government persists in pursuing a bilateral approach instead of embracing a multilateral global strategy."
Amir Khasru underlined the concerns raised by UN agencies and human rights organisations about the lack of a safe and dignified repatriation environment in Myanmar. He also mentioned the opposition from Rohingya organisations regarding involuntary repatriation without recognition of Myanmar citizenship.
"We firmly believe that the enduring humanitarian crisis requires urgent and effective measures. The absence of progress in returning the Rohingya community, six years after the genocidal clearance operation, is alarming and inexcusable. It is undeniable that no Rohingya refugee has been repatriated thus far," he added.
The international community must hold Myanmar's government accountable for brutal atrocities and work towards a sustainable solution for the safe, voluntary, dignified, and sustainable return of the Rohingya. This involves diplomatic pressure, sanctions, and supporting accountability, justice, and reconciliation efforts in Myanmar," said Khasru.