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.”


US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

Updated 05 August 2020

US to pay over $1bn for 100m doses of J&J’s potential COVID-19 vaccine

  • The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J
  • This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country

WASHINGTON: The United States government will pay Johnson & Johnson over $1 billion for 100 million doses of its potential coronavirus vaccine, its latest such arrangement as the race to tame the pandemic intensifies, the drugmaker said on Wednesday.
It said it would deliver the vaccine to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on a not-for-profit basis to be used after approval or emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
J&J has already received $1 billion in funding from the US government — BARDA agreed in March to provide that money for the company to build manufacturing capacity for more than 1 billion doses of the experimental vaccine.
The latest contract equates to roughly $10 per vaccine dose produced by J&J. Including the first $1 billion deal with the USgovernment, the price would be slightly higher than the $19.50 per dose that the United States is paying for the vaccine being developed by Pfizer Inc. and German biotech BioNTech SE.
The US government may also purchase an additional 200 million doses under a subsequent agreement. J&J did not disclose that deal’s value.
J&J plans to study a one- or two-dose regimen of the vaccine in parallel later this year. A single-shot regimen could allow more people to be vaccinated with the same number of doses and would sidestep issues around getting people to come back for their second dose.
This is J&J’s first deal to supply its investigational vaccine to a country. Talks are underway with the European Union, but no deal has yet been reached.
J&J’s investigational vaccine is currently being tested on healthy volunteers in the United States and Belgium in an early-stage study.
There are currently no approved vaccines for COVID-19. More than 20 are in clinical trials.