Bangladesh PM calls CAA 'internal matter' but 'unnecessary'

Elias Hubbard
January 21, 2020

"We don't understand why (the Indian government) did it".

The Indian minister further said that till 2014 some 566 Muslims had migrated to India from Bangladesh and Afghanistan, claiming that the BJP government had granted close to 1,595 citizenships to Pakistani migrants and 391 to Muslims from Afghanistan between 2016-2018.

On ties with Bangladesh, the MEA had earlier said there is a close relationship between India and Bangladesh and that the close ties between the two should "not be defined by postponement of a visit", a reference to the cancellation last month of the visit of Bangladesh foreign minister A.K. Abdul Momen.

The CAA, approved by Parliament on 11 December, aims to fast track citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims.

She also denied any movement of people from India to Bangladesh in the wake of the CAA and NRC.

She was speaking at an event organised by Chennai Citizens Forum and New India Forum in Chennai on Sunday, as per reports. "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.

State Assemblies may pass resolutions against the CAA but state governments are duty bound to implement the Act, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while refuting the Opposition charge that the law was discriminatory.

"(Still), it is an internal affair", Hasina said. Some protests turned violent too. Hasina's description of the law now as "unnecessary" is in line with the concerns in Bangladesh establishment that the CAA might trigger reverse migration of Bangladesh illegal immigrants living in India.

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

Bangladesh can not indefinitely shoulder the burden of providing for more than a million refugees, said Hasina.

"Bangladesh has always maintained that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India". "Necessary or unnecessary is a matter of perception".

Amid massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019, it was passed by the Parliament and it became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to it on December 12, 2019.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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