Prime Minister’s International Affairs Advisor Gowher Rizvi has said Bangladesh will take back all its nationals living illegally in India only if India proves that the illegal immigrants are Bangladeshi nationals.
Rizvi said this during a session titled ‘Friends and neighbours: Sharing more than just a border’ at the India Today Conclave East 2018 in Kolkata on Friday, reports India Today.
The final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) of India excluded more than 40 lakh people. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s president Amit Shah recently called illegal immigrants “termites” who need to be “weeded out” from India.
When asked about Dhaka’s view on these developments, Rizvi said most people in Bangladesh see the issue of illegal immigrants in Assam as India’s internal issue. “Even the media has not taken it up prominently,” he said.
Rizvi said that in the past 10 years, during which he has been the Bangladeshi PM’s adviser, the Indian government has never taken up the issue of illegal immigrants with Bangladesh.
“The process of identifying illegal immigrants has just started. It is a long step process and there may come a time in the distant future when the two countries will talk about it. We are mature countries and have friendly relations, we will work it out when time comes,” he said.
During the session, Gowher Rizvi also spoke about the challenges posed by the Rohingya refugee crisis. He said though Bangladesh is sheltering more than 1 million Rohingya refugees, the international community needs to come together to find a solution to the humanitarian crisis.