Rohingya crisis may emerge as security issue, warns Bangladesh

Rohingya crisis may emerge as security issue, warns Bangladesh

SAM Staff,

Bangladesh’s  Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque on Saturday said the Rohingya crisis might become a security issue in the region and Bangladesh is now in offensive mood diplomatically engaging internationally to find a peaceful solution to the problem  as early as possible.

“We will continue to build pressure (on Myanmar). We are going everywhere. We are going to all countries (you mentioned),” he told a dialogue on Rohingya issue at a city hotel mentioning that Bangladesh is no way in defensive mood diplomatically.

Cosmos Foundation arranged the dialogue on “Domestic, Regional and International Dimensions of the Rohingya Issue: Dealing with a Man-made Crisis” to highlight the issue and offer some solutions to the crisis.

The Foreign Secretary said Bangladesh is doing whatever is possible to find a solution to the crisis which lies within Myanmar.

“We have a very articulated policy,” Foreign Secretary Haque said adding that they are intensifying diplomatic efforts through multilateral and international forums and international bodies.

The Foreign Secretary said the Rohingya issue is a multidimensional and multilayered one having over five dimensions.

Explaining how Rohingya issue might become a security issue, Haque said, “It was basically a humanitarian movement. Subsequently, it became a border issue and it might become a security issue.”

“We are not denying that there is no potential to become a security issue,” he emphasised.

The Foreign Secretary said Bangladesh is looking into all the options to find the solution.

Earlier, other speakers laid emphasis on intensifying diplomatic efforts through multilateral and international forums to end the crisis.

They sought steps to set up a seperate desk at the Foreign Ministry to deal with Russia, China and India on Rohingya issue.

A foreign ministry official said Bangladesh is soon sending a special envoy to China and Russia to further discuss the Rohingya issue.

A panel of experts, including CR Abrar of Dhaka University, Major General (retd.) ANM Muniruzzaman of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Shahedul Anam Khan of The Daily Star and former IOM official Asif Munier took part in the dialogue.

The workshop was chaired by Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, a former foreign affairs adviser to the caretaker government and principal research fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) in Singapore.

Cosmos Foundation chairman Enayetullah Khan delivered welcome speech.

Smarter Dealing Needed

CR Abrar said, “We have to be really smart in dealing with it (Rohingya issue).”

Talking about international community’s role, he said the world has come a long way and “If we fail to act, it’s a shame on us. It’s a collective shame. Not for Bangladesh alone but a shame for entire world.”

The international affairs expert laid emphasis on thinking well about relocation plan of Rohingyas to an Island.

He laid emphasis on evaluating whether the island is habitable at all.

Munirurzzaman said Bangladesh has to be extremely smart to deal with matter and play better game as other players are smarter than us and better playrrs.

He also highlighted security concerns that might emerge over the Rohingya issue, including regional and domestic concerns.