Sushma to visit Bangladesh to discuss Rohingya, Teesta issue

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International desk, October 17: Amidst the raging crisis of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj is expected to visit Bangladesh soon to find a solution to the matter.The visit was announced by the High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Syed Muazzem Ali here on Monday at an event organised by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC).

He said that Bangladesh is facing a “huge humanitarian crisis” with the Rohingya refugees.

“For the last 60 years it is the inability of the Burmese government to recognise this problem… We believe that this problem needs to be resolved in Myanmar. It is a major security concern for all of us. It is a fire in the neighbourhood that will engulf all of us,” the High Commissioner said.

He said that the Bangladeshi government has laid out a ‘Five-Point Plan’ for the Myanmar government to control the mass exodus of Rohingyas from Burma to Bangladesh.

Some of recommendations are UN probe into Rakhine state in Myanmar where the ethnic cleansing is going on and carrying out a probe there on the reported atrocities being carried out there.

On the contentious issue of river water sharing, the High Commissioner said water sharing between India and Bangladesh remains a “concern” for India.

On the long pending Teesta Water Sharing pact, he said “the rivers are sensitive issue and only after details calculation any project should be undertaken.”

He said that during Swaraj’s visit to Dhaka the matter will be raised.

“Water sharing has always been a sensitive issue in between our countries and it has a major stake in Bangladesh’s politics,” he added.

Teesta is the fourth largest transboundary river shared by both countries.

The Teesta treaty was expected to be signed during former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011. But it fell through after West Bengal Chief Minister

Mamata Banerjee objected to the deal putting the deal in a flux.

Counterterrorism is also going to be high on Swaraj’s agenda. Bangladesh has also vowed to be on the forefront in this and help India.

Issues of cooperation in energy, trade and sub-regional connectivity is also going to be discussed during her visit.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina visited India in April. This was followed by the visit of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

Source: The Hindu Business Line