Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi said the Rohingya crisis will put the biggest security threat to the South Asian countries in the coming days.
“The long-pending Rohingya crisis is now Bangladesh’s problem, but it will be the entire world’s problem in future,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of a seminar in the capital as the chief guest.
“What is happening in Myanmar? It is something that all countries should be concerned,” the adviser added.
Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) arranged the seminar titled ‘Bangladesh-India Cooperation in the Changing Regional and Global Context’ at its auditorium on Wednesday.
Dr Gowher said the Rohingya influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh was not the result of some localised, inter-communal or inter-sectarian conflict.
“It was deliberate, it was planned, it was genocidal. It was a part of what Myanmar visualises. Myanmar considers itself Buddhist people of Chinese-origin,” he said, adding it thinks the darker Rohingyas are Muslims, not above this.
The PM’s adviser said Myanmar has systemically worked over decades to eliminate the Muslim minorities from its soil.
“Yes, it (Rohingya crisis) is a Bangladesh’s problem today but it will be the entire world’s problem tomorrow,” Dr Gowher said, adding the exodus of the large number of Rohingyas in the borders of Bangladesh and India will also threaten the security of the both countries.
“We’ve already noticed weapons are coming in the region. And before long, if we are not careful and internationally we do not work together, this will be the biggest (reason of) instability in the region,” he added.
About bilateral relations, the PM’s international affairs adviser said Bangladesh-India relations are very important as both the countries want to prosper together strengthening their existing ties.
Highlighting the regional trade, he said the value of trade is one economic indicator but many other issues are related to bilateral trade.
Noting that Bangladesh always encourages Indian investment, Dr Gowher said Bangladesh definitely wants to be a part of the Indo-Pacific initiative.
“There is no question about it. It is a win-win opportunity. At the same time, we cannot stay away from the Belt and Road Initiative because that is also an important opportunity for us,” he said.
Taking part in the discussion, Director General of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA), India, Ambassador Sujan R Chinoy said the existing bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh is a role model for many countries.
Mentioning that the Indian government wants inclusive economic development not only in India but also in other countries in the region, he hoped that Indian companies would come to Bangladesh with their investments in near future.
Chaired by BIISS chairman Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmed, the inaugural session of the seminar was also addressed by its director general Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman.