Sheikh Hasina Says CAA Internal Matter, But Not Necessary
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has termed as “internal matters” of India the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), but at the same time said the act was “not necessary”.
“We don’t understand why [the Indian government] did it. It was not necessary,” Hasina told Gulf News in an interview during her recent visit to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“[Still], it is an internal affair,” Hasina said, adding that India too has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are its internal matters. “No, there is no reverse migration from India. But within India, people are facing many problems,” Hasina also said.
This comes even as there are concerns over ties between the two countries being hit by the CAA and the NRC in Assam earlier and may further deteriorate in case India proceeds with the National Population Register in its current form.
According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 following religious persecution there will get Indian citizenship. Protests are being held across India against the controversial law.
Bangladesh, where 10.7% of the 161 million population is Hindu and 0.6% Buddhist, has denied any migration to India because of religious persecution. Bangladesh ministers have not travelled to India for scheduled visits which is being seen by some as objecting to the accusation of religious persecution in the country as per the CAA.
Following concerns that people were being pushed in to Bangladesh, Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said Dhaka had sought information from Delhi on the Bangladeshi citizens living there illegally. “If they [those who trespassed into Bangladesh] are not Bangladeshi citizens, we will send them back,” Momen said as per the Daily Star.
In December, Momentold reporters in Dhaka that India was always a tolerant country which believes in secularism.
There were speculations in the media that the India-Bangladesh relations were going through a rough patch as Foreign Minister Momen, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam postponed a visit to India.