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Citizenship Act not necessary, CAA, NRC India’s internal matter: Sheikh Hasina

"We don't understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not necessary," Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikha Hasina said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 19, 2020 2:40:50 pm
caa protests, citizenship amendment act, sheikh hasina on caa, sheikh hasina on citizenship amendment act, india bangladesh relations Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. (File)

In her first remarks on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has termed the contentious law and the National Register of Citizenship (NRC) as an “internal matter” of India but at the same time, said the act was “not necessary”.

“We don’t understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not necessary,” Hasina told Gulf News in an interview on Saturday.

The Awami League party chief’s remarks came weeks after Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen said that the two laws are India’s “internal issues”, but said any “uncertainty” in the country is likely to affect its neighbours.

Hasina, who is in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, also said that there has been no recorded reverse migration from India.

“No, there is no reverse migration from India. But within India, people are facing many problems,” the Bangladeshi Prime Minister said.

“(Still), it is an internal affair,” she added.

“Bangladesh has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India. The Government of India, on their part, has also repeatedly maintained that the NRC is an internal exercise of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has in person assured me of the same during my visit to New Delhi in October 2019,” she said.

Hasina also said that the relationship between Bangladesh and India is currently at its best, with cooperation in a “wide spectrum of areas”.

Modi and Hasina had held talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in October last year. It was during this time that the Bangladeshi Prime Minister told her Indian counterpart that NRC had become a matter of “great concern” in the neighbouring country.

However, Modi assured that there was “nothing to be worried” since India and Bangladesh have good relations.

Asked by The Indian Express whether she was satisfied with Modi’s assurance, Hasina had said, “Oboshoyi (Of course).”

(With PTI inputs)

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