The influx of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh from Myanmar is a security concern, and India must play a bigger role in finding a solution to the crisis, Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to India Syed Muazzem Ali said. “It would be prudent for India to act in mutual interest,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
There is a “fire in the neighbourhood” that has the potential to engulf the entire region, Ali said in New Delhi. He did not comment on India’s plan to deport the 40,000 Rohingya refugees in the country.
More than five lakh Rohingyas have fled across the border to Bangladesh from Myanmar’s Rakhine state since August 25, after Myanmar security forces launched an operation in response to attacks allegedly carried out by militants. Most of them are cramped in refugee camps near Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
Speaking to reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in New Delhi, the high commissioner pointed out that the refugees in Bangladesh were vulnerable to “all sorts of radicalisation”, and that it would be advantageous for both India and Bangladesh to “work together”. Ali said that more than 60% of the refugees who had crossed the border were women and children who are living in “unacceptable conditions”.
India and Bangladesh may not agree on the subject as Rakhine state in Myanmar, the epicentre of the refugee exodus, does not share a border with India. “You are safe for now, but how long will that be?” he said. “It is in our common interest to act together. It may burn my house today, but it will surely have an impact in your house tomorrow.”
Ali said the Myanmar government must recognise its own citizens and resolve the matter internally.