‘ARSA, Arakan Army Bases’: Dhaka protests ‘baseless’ claim by Myanmar

‘ARSA, Arakan Army Bases’: Dhaka protests ‘baseless’ claim by Myanmar

SAM Staff,

Dhaka is utterly disappointed and aggrieved at Myanmar’s allegation of existence of Arakan Army and Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) bases in Bangladesh, the foreign ministry said yesterday.

In a press statement, the ministry termed the allegation fake and protested such “baseless and provocative accusations”.

Based on some media reports, it said the spokesperson for Myanmar President’s Office on January 7 had alleged that there was an existence of two Arakan Army bases and three ARSA bases in Bangladesh.

It is not possible to operate terrorist bases anywhere in Bangladesh because of high alertness and effective preventive measures by the security forces in line with the “zero tolerance policy” of the present government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the statement mentioned.

In the strongly-worded statement, the ministry said, “The current clashes inside Myanmar are [an] outcome of its own political and social dilemma.”

As such it will be highly appreciated by the Bangladesh government if the Myanmar government does not make any endeavor to associate Bangladesh with its internal political puzzle, it added.

Bangladesh is also firmly committed not to allow its soil to be used by any dissident group of any neighbouring country. The government has taken all possible measures, including comprehensive international engagements in counterterrorism, to fully implement the commitment.

“We affirm that there is no existence of any foreign terrorist groups within Bangladesh; nor is Bangladesh harbouring any terrorist organisation within its soil,” the statement said, adding, “Security forces of Bangladesh alongside the border always remain vigilant to prevent any untoward incidents that may affect the existing peaceful relations between two neighbours.”

The statement added that Bangladesh’s comprehensive cooperation in counterterrorism with some of the neighbouring countries proved to be highly effective. The Bangladesh government had offered similar type of comprehensive bilateral cooperation mechanism to Myanmar on a number of occasions.

“Bangladesh, on several instances, proposed Myanmar [to] conduct joint operations in addressing claimed terrorist activities along the border area. But unfortunately, not much enthusiasm was received from the Myanmar side.”

Myanmar even failed to provide Bangladesh with specific details and concrete evidence on the alleged terrorist elements and acts, read the statement.