Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday came under opposition’s criticism for her decision to provide Saudi Arabia with documents acknowledging that Dhaka had sent Myanmar Rohingya Muslims to the kingdom with Bangladesh passports.
The lone BNP member of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign ministry, AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon, said Bangladesh would be forced to accept the Myanmar Muslims as Bangladesh nationals if Saudi Arabia scrapped their stay permits in future.
At a meeting of the committee yesterday, he also questioned the ongoing trial of a member of the Indian Border Security Force for killing Bangladeshi girl Felani.
Refuting the opposition allegation, however, Dipu Moni told the parliamentary body that the Rohingyas must go to Myanmar in case they were deported from Saudi Arabia.
In line with the Saudi government, the foreign ministry has decided to give Riyadh documents stating that many Rohingya Muslims holding Bangladeshi passports were not Bangladeshis although they landed there via Dhaka.
The Saudi government sought these documents as it attempted to legalise the Rohingya Muslims. The Awami League recently decided not to renew the passports given to Myanmar nationals by General Ziaur Rahman in the late 1970s.
“This is a suicidal decision to give these documents to Saudi Arabia. Bangladesh must accept them if the Saudi government deports them in future,” Khokon told the Dhaka Tribune after the meeting at the parliament building.
Dipu Moni countered the BNP lawmaker, saying: “The previous government unlawfully gave the Rohingyas Bangladeshi passports, but we have decided not to renew those. We must not accept them.
“They must go to Myanmar in case of their deportation in future.”
Raising the issue of the BSF member’s trial, Khokon said: “This is a good news that the Indian government has started the trial of Felani killing, but we do not know how transparent it is.”
He suggested that the government should have sent representatives and NGO officials to witness the trial.
The standing committee recommended that officials of the Bangladesh mission in India should keep up-to-date information on the trial.
“The government will have to let people know about the trial,” said Nilufer Zafar Ullah, chairman of the committee.