December 22, 2019 1:33:46 pm
Amid the massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen on Sunday said that the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are India’s “internal matters” but any “uncerainty” in the country will likely affect the neighbouring countries.
“The CAB (now Citizenship Amendment Act) and the NRC (National Register of Citizens) are internal issues of India. Indian government assured us again and again that these are their domestic issues, they are doing it because of legal and other reasons,” Momen told PTI. CAA protests | Follow LIVE updates
“We are the No.1 friend of India. So, if there is uncertainty in India, it is likely to affect its neighbours. When there was an economic downturn in the US, it affected many countries because we live in a global world. So our fear is that if there is some uncertainty in India, it might affect its neighbours,” he added.
He hoped that the situation “cools down” and India “can get out of it”.
“That is worrisome. We hope the situation cools down and India can get out of it…It is their internal issue. It is not our issue. They should deal with it,” Momen said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act aims to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship of India.
Momen added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while talking to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, had assured that under no circumstances it will affect Bangladesh.
On December 13, Momen cancelled his visit to India. He was scheduled to visit India for the 6th Indian Ocean Dialogue from December 12 to 14.
However, he cancelled his visit hours before his arrival, citing “pressing national events” — the Martyred Intellectuals Day on December 14 and Victory Day on December 16.
Bangladesh was learnt to have been upset following the rollout of the NRC in Assam around four months ago, even though India conveyed to it that the issue was an internal matter of the country. Out of 3.3 crore applicants, over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final NRC published on August 30.
PM Hasina had taken up the issue of NRC with Modi during their bilateral meeting in New York in September.
(With PTI inputs)
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