Bangladesh denies asking India not to send Muslim migrants

Supporters and activists of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) take part in a sitting demonstration against India's new citizenship law, in Siliguri on December 28, 2019. (AFP)
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Updated 01 January 2020

Bangladesh denies asking India not to send Muslim migrants

  • There have been protests across India as well as killings and violence, mostly in areas controlled by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party such as northern Uttar Pradesh state
  • Diplomatic tensions between Bangladesh and India have increased since India’s parliament passed the CAA

DHAKA: Bangladesh Wednesday denied requesting any sort of written assurance from India that it will not send Muslim migrants across the border after the enactment of a controversial citizenship law.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) fast-tracks citizenship for persecuted Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Christians who arrived in India before the end of 2014 from Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Critics say the law is discriminatory and goes against the secular spirit of India’s constitution.
On Monday Indian news outlet The Print cited unnamed Indian Foreign Ministry sources claiming that “Bangladesh wants ‘written’ assurance from India that it won’t send immigrants after CAA.”
But Farid Hossain, press minister at the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, told Arab News he had “no idea” about any such exchange.  
Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood, director general for South Asia at the Bangladeshi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the CAA was an “internal issue” of the Indian government.  
“I have no such information about seeking any written assurance from the Indian government. If there was any discussion regarding this at any government level, I should have been aware of it,” he told Arab News. “Bangladesh to date has not planned anything like this.”
Diplomatic tensions between Bangladesh and India have increased since India’s parliament passed the CAA on Dec. 9. 
Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said the CAA would weaken India’s position as a secular country, while Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal canceled his and Momen’s scheduled visit to New Delhi citing “internal affairs.”
Mohammad Touhid Hossain, a former foreign secretary of Bangladesh, said the CAA was now a “major irritant” in bilateral ties and that a “message” had been sent through the visit’s cancelation.  “It indicates that our government is unhappy with the situation,” he told Arab News.
There have been protests across India as well as killings and violence, mostly in areas controlled by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party such as northern Uttar Pradesh state.
Senior diplomat Mohammad Zamir said parties should exercise restraint as it remained unclear what was currently happening in India.  
“Today (Wednesday), Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to greet her in the new year and they talked for around 15 minutes,” he told Arab News. “We still don’t know the details of their discussion. So, we should wait before making any comment over the situation.”


Philippines reports 6,352 coronavirus cases, Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump

Updated 2 min 48 sec ago

Philippines reports 6,352 coronavirus cases, Southeast Asia’s biggest daily jump

  • The Philippine capital and nearby provinces on Tuesday returned under strict lockdown for two weeks

MANILA: The Philippines’ health ministry on Tuesday reported 6,352 coronavirus infections, marking the biggest daily jump in cases in Southeast Asia and after posting a record rise in five of the past six days.
In a bulletin, the ministry said total confirmed cases had increased to 112,593, while deaths rose by 11 to 2,115.
The Philippine capital and nearby provinces on Tuesday returned under strict lockdown for two weeks to arrest soaring cases since restrictions were relaxed in June.