We don’t understand why India went for CAA: Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she did not understand the purpose of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed in India that aims to offer citizenship to non-Muslim minorities that have faced persecution in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries, Gulf News reports.
"We don't understand why [the Indian government] did it. It was not necessary," she told Gulf News in an interview in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi.
The CAA was passed by the Parliament of India on December 11, 2019, and provides a path to citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religious minorities who have allegedly fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014.
Bangladesh, where 10.7 percent of the 161 million-strong population is Hindu and 0.6 percent Buddhist, has denied any migration to India because of religious persecution.
The Bangladesh premier also said that there has been no recorded reverse migration from India. "No, there is no reverse migration from India. But within India, people are facing many problems," Hasina said.
Protests and violence have erupted across India since the enactment of the
CAA last month.
Analysts in Bangladesh have expressed fears that Indian Muslims who are unable to prove their citizenship claims will seek shelter in Bangladesh.
"[Still], it is an internal affair," Hasina said. "Bangladesh has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India. The Government of India, on their part, has also repeatedly maintained that the NRC is an internal exercise of India and Prime Minister Modi has in person assured me of the same during my visit to New Delhi in October 2019," she added.
The relationship between Bangladesh and India is currently at its best, with cooperation in a "wide spectrum of areas", the prime minister said.
Two repatriation initiatives so far have failed as not a single Rohingya wants to go back voluntarily. It revealed that Myanmar did not succeed in creating an environment conducive for repatriation," she said.
Bangladesh cannot indefinitely shoulder the burden of providing for more than a million refugees, said Hasina. "If the problem persists, it may seriously affect the security and stability of the region. This is why the international community should remain [engaged] with the Rohingya issue until it reaches a sustainable solution," she said.
Bangladesh's plans to burn more coal for power have generated concern among environmentalists but the prime minister has assured that the coal stations would not promote widespread environmental damage.
"Bangladesh has a very low carbon footprint as far as power generation is concerned, so it should be allowed reasonable 'carbon space' for the expansion of its power generation capacity to meet its development agenda," Hasina added. -bdnews24.com