Bangladesh will take back any of its citizen if it is proven he/she was staying in India illegally, an advisor to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said. “We will take back any Bangladeshi citizen staying in India illegally. But India has to prove that,” Gauhar Rizvi, Advisor to Hasina on international affairs said.
He further said the issue of the amended Citizenship Act is an internal matter of India. Denying any unfair treatment towards minorities living in Bangladesh, Rizvi said Muslims, Hindus, Christians and Buddhists co-exist peacefully in the country. Rizvi’s statement comes days after two senior Bangladesh ministers cancelled their visits to India after the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed by the Indian Parliament on December 12. The Indian diplomats in Dhaka had said that the Hasina government was not happy with the underlying assumption behind CAB despite Home Minister Amit Shah saying that the situation of minorities had improved under the current government in Bangladesh.
A day after Citizenship bill was passed, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen had rejected allegations that the minorities are facing religious persecution in his country. “India is historically a tolerant country which believes in secularism (but) their… position will be weakened if they deviate from that,” he had said. He said Bangladesh and India enjoy close friendly relations, “termed as the golden chapter” of bilateral ties, and “so, naturally our people (Bangladeshis) expect that India won’t do anything that could create anxiety among them”.
Momen said the allegations of repression of minorities in Bangladesh were “untrue”. “Whoever gave them the information, it is not correct,” he said. “Many important decisions of our country are taken by persons belonging to different religions… we never judge anybody by their religion,” he said.