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Gowher Rizvi: Rohingya crisis will become biggest security threat to South Asia

  • Published at 08:03 pm July 3rd, 2019
Prime Minister’s Advisor on International Affairs Dr Gowher Rizvi
Prime Minister’s Advisor on International Affairs Dr Gowher Rizvi Courtesy

The adviser said Rohingyas are threatening the security of both Bangladesh and India

Prime minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi has said the Rohingya crisis will become the biggest security threat to South Asian countries in the coming days.

“The long-running Rohingya crisis is now Bangladesh’s problem, but it will be the entire world’s problem tomorrow,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of a seminar in Dhaka as the chief guest on Wednesday, reports BSS.

“All countries of the world should be concerned about what is happening in Myanmar,” Dr Gowher Rizvi added.

The seminar, titled “Bangladesh-India Cooperation in the Changing Regional and Global Context,” was arranged by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) at its auditorium.

The migration of the Rohingyas from Myanmar to Bangladesh was not the result of localized, intercommunal, or inter-sectarian conflict, according to the prime minister’s international affairs adviser.

Describing the Myanmar army’s atrocities against the Rohingya as “deliberate, planned, and genocidal,” Dr Gowher Rizvi said Myanmar carried out the acts as it visualizes itself as a country for only Buddhist people of Chinese-origin.

He added that Myanmar has worked to systematically eliminate Muslim minorities from its soil for decades.

 “They (Myanmar) changed their constitution. They have taken away the Rohingyas’ citizenship. This did not happen overnight. Rather, this was a coldly planned genocide to force an exodus,” he said.

Dr Gowher Rizvi added that the influx of the large number of Rohingyas through the borders of Bangladesh and India is threatening the security of both the countries.

“We have already noticed weapons coming to this region. And before long, if we are not careful and do not work together, this [the Rohingya crisis] will be the biggest cause of instability in the region,” he further said.

Bilateral trade

Regarding Bangladesh-India bilateral relations, Dr Gowher Rizvi said the relationship between the two countries is very important as both want to prosper together by strengthening existing ties.

He also mentioned that Bangladesh always encourages Indian investment, and wants to be part of both the Indo-Pacific initiative and the Belt and Road Initiative. “There is no question about it. It [the Indo-Pacific initiative] is a win-win opportunity. At the same time, we cannot stay away from the Belt and Road Initiative because that is also an important opportunity for us.”

Also addressing the discussion, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses India (IDSA) Director General Ambassador Sujan R Chinoy said the existing bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh is a role model for many other countries.

Mentioning that the Indian government wants inclusive economic development not only in India but also in other countries of the region, he hoped that many Indian companies would come to Bangladesh with investment in the future.

Chaired by BIISS Chairman Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmed, the inaugural session of the seminar was also addressed by BIISS Director General Major General AKM Abdur Rahman.