Bangladesh will continue to provide shelter to the Rohingya as long as they seek refuge here in the face of the brutal persecution being carried out by Myanmar military forces in the Rakhine State, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said.
“But we do believe that the Rohingya are citizens of Myanmar and their country will take them back," he said in response to a query from reporters at his office in the secretariat in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Kamal also said: “We had decided to visit Myanmar in October upon the invitation from their national security advisor, but meanwhile the persecution on Rohingya began. So, the visit will now happen only after getting a nod from the prime minister.”
Asked about the possible topics of discussion if the Myanmar visit takes place, the minister said: “Rohingya repatriation and initiatives to stop drug smuggling would have topped the agenda.”
He added that he was not seeing the violations of Bangladesh airspace by Myanmar military drones and helicopters as a threat. “We are showing utmost tolerance towards them as we believe that any problem can be solved through discussion.”
Asked how long Bangladesh was going to shelter the refugees, Kamal said: “We also took shelter in India during our Liberation War in 1971. We are letting the Rohingya stay here on humanitarian grounds. The world community has already applauded us and our prime minister for our approach towards the refugees.”
The article was first published on Bangla Tribune