Middlemen helping people come to BD for ‘free food’: FM

People except Bangladesh citizens to be sent back, he says
Dhaka, Dec 15 – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen yesterday said that India is not pushing anybody in inside Bangladesh rather some people in connivance with middlemen are entering the border because of socio-economic pull factors. He said the government will send them back if anybody other than Bangladeshi citizens enters the country through the Bangladesh-India border without following the due process.
The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh requested India to give the list if there is any Bangladeshi living in India illegally.
“Let’s know it (Bangladesh seeks info from India),” he told reporters at the Foreign Affairs Ministry adding that there is a standard procedure to follow in that case.
Dr Momen highlighted Bangladesh’s socio-economic development while joblessness in India in some cases. He said those who are Bangladesh citizens have the right to come back to Bangladesh but others will be sent back.
Responding to a question on National Register of Citizenship (NRC), he said India termed it their internal matter and assured Bangladesh that it will in no way affect Bangladesh.
“The Bangladesh-India relations are normal. The relations won’t be affected…the relations are very sweet,” said the Foreign Minister explaining reasons behind the cancellation of his New Delhi visit.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs here said the scheduled visit of Dr Momen was cancelled due to his ‘busy schedule’ at home ahead of Martyred Intellectuals Day and Victory Day, said a senior official on Thursday.
India also termed its relations with Bangladesh “very strong” and brushed aside speculations over the last-minute cancellation of Dr Momen’s New Delhi visit.
“We’ve been informed by Bangladesh side that the change in the programme was due to domestic issues related to the commemoration of Bangladesh Victory Day on December 16,” an official spokesperson at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar told reporters at a briefing in New Delhi on Thursday.
He termed speculations linking the cancellation of the visit to the Indian Parliament’s adoption of the Citizenship Amendment Bill “unwarranted.”
The MEA spokesperson ruled out the speculation, saying: “There have been unwarranted speculations…”
On Rohingya issue, Dr Momen said it has been globally established that there had been a massive crime committed against the Rohingyas which was described by the UN as a classic example of ethnic cleansing.
He said Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi tried to shift the blames on others during genocide case hearing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague on December 10-12.
Dr Momen said they see the development at the top UN court positively and expect that Myanmar would be more tolerant towards Rohingyas after facing the ICJ hearing.
He also hoped that Myanmar will be sincere in implementing the bilateral deal signed with Bangladesh on Rohingya repatriation.
Dr Momen said Myanmar invited him to visit Myanmar but conveyed that he would go there when the Rohingyas will go back to Myanmar.
“I also invited Myanmar to visit Bangladesh to talk to their Rohingya people and to understand their expectations,” he said.