PM blames Ziaur Rahman for creating Rohingya crisis


SANGSAD BHABAN, Nov 13, 2019 (BSS) – Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today blamed military dictator Ziaur Rahman for creating the Rohingya crisis.

“There is no doubt that Ziaur Rahman had a hand in creating the Rohingya crisis,” she said in reply to a supplementary from Bangladesh Tariqat Federation lawmaker Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari during her question-answer session in the House.

“If you see one thing that after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15 in 1975, the politics of killings, coups and conspiracies had started,” she added.

The Leader of the House said the unrest in Chattogram Hill Tracts had begun in 1976-1977, while the Rohingya problem had commenced in 1978-1979, adding it is a reality.

“However, we always believe in the peaceful solution to the protracted Rohingya crisis and I’ve already taken initiatives in this regard,” she said.

The prime minister reiterated her firm stance on not to allow anybody to use Bangladesh’s land for terrorist activities in any country.

“There’ll be no place for the terrorists on the soil of Bangladesh … we’ve ensured it. We’ve expelled those from the country whom the past governments patronised,” she said.

Reaffirming Bangladesh’s foreign policy- “friendship to all, malice to none”, Sheikh Hasina said: “We always want to maintain good relations with all.”

Responding to another supplementary raised by treasury bench member Shahiduzzaman Sarkar, the prime minister said Bangladesh has already held talks with India and China on the Rohingya issue and “we expect their active role in this regard.”

She said, not with India and China, Bangladesh also held discussion on the issue with other countries which have borders with Myanmar as there is a problem of the small ethnic groups of Myanmar with the bordering countries.

“We held talks with those countries so we could solve the problem together,” she said.

The prime minister informed the House that during her visit to Beijing, she requested the Chinese president and the premier to see the issue with importance. “They assured us that they’ll take proper initiatives in this regard,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said China has already sent their representatives to Myanmar and are creating pressure on them to solve the Rohingya problem.

The prime minister said during her visit to New Delhi, she held talks with Indian premier on the Rohingya issue. “I also held discussion with Narendra Modi on the issue on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she got good response from everybody on the Rohingya issue and all realised that this problem should be solved.

“The outlook of those countries is that maintaining good relations with Myanmar, they want safe and secure return of the Rohingyas to their homeland,” she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is continuing discussion with the countries. “Bangladesh has already signed agreements with Myanmar for repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas,” she said.

As per the deal, she said, Myanmar had showed interest to bring back their nationals from Bangladesh, while a list of the Rohingyas was prepared and time was fixed to start the repatriation process.

Sheikh Hasina said but a trend among the Rohingyas who took shelter in Bangladesh was seen and they built up a movement that they’ll not go back to Myanmar as they have some more demands.

“The Rohingyas want security as they feel insecure. Now it depends on Myanmar as the Rohingyas are their citizens … they should at least create confidence among them (Rohingyas) that they will remain safe after their return and then it’s possible to solve the problem,” she said.

The prime minister said the international community — even the ASEAN — has taken initiatives to solve the problem, while the OIC has extended support to Bangladesh in this regard.

Earlier in her written speech, the prime minister called upon all states of the world to work in unison on the basis of partnership to ensure peaceful and livable world.

Sheikh Hasina said that the active participation of the Bangladesh delegation in the UN General Assembly will consolidate the country’s position in the multilateral forum and expand the field of cooperation on the issues related to Bangladesh in the international arena.

“In the overall consideration, Bangladesh’s participation in the 74th UNGA Session was very successful,” she said.