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26th-May-2019

Take time-befitting diplomatic steps

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THOUGH the foreign relation of Dhaka with New Delhi and Beijing is remarkably good, it is not working well especially in the Rohingya issue. Dhaka had requested both the nations for several times to mount pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation, but they kept limited their efforts in extending 'assurance' of 'continued support' in this regard.  
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen raised the matter with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj in February following 'a routine response' from India along with an 'appreciation for the humanitarian gesture of Bangladesh'. There is an old proverb: A friend in need is a friend indeed. But we see that the friendship between Dhaka and Delhi is not working effectively while Bangladesh is in a deep diplomatic crisis over Rohingyas. The situation is all the same regarding Beijing also.
India and China continued to rely on 'the narratives of the military-controlled Myanmar' in assessing the Rohingya situation from 'development' and 'security' dimensions. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted at least three meetings of Foreign Ministers of Bangladesh and Myanmar in addition to deploying a Chinese envoy to shuttle between Beijing, Dhaka and Naypyitaw for breaking ice in resolving the crisis with sending the 'first batch of Rohingyas' to Rakhine. Attempt to send the first batch of Rohingyas faltered on November 15, 2018, as they declined to return to Rakhine without creating an environment conducive to safe and dignified also not ensuring their citizenship. Chinese attempts were 'yet to bring in any results' as they did not take the root causes of the Rohingya crisis in consideration. Its main reason; China is Myanmar's largest investor with focus on Rakhine State.
Bangladesh and China had agreed to elevate the bilateral relations to the strategic partnership, while relation with India has gone far beyond a strategic partnership. In the modern diplomacy- everything is exchangeable if it doesn't go against interest of anyone. If we don't get any support from our reliable friends then why should we extend our overall cooperation to them? It's high time to rearrange our diplomatic policy to get rid of unnecessary burden. Bangladesh is not capable to burden of 1.2 million Rohingyas for an uncertain period.