Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday renewed her call to the international community, including the Holy See, for continuing their pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals from Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister said this when she met Secretary of State of Vatican City Cardinal Pietro Parolin at his office here.
Foreign Secretary Shahidul Huq and Ambassador to the Vatican City Shamim Ahsan briefed reporters after the meeting.
Shamim Ahsan said the Prime Minister informed the secretary of state that Bangladesh and Myanmar signed an agreement to send back over one million Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their homeland.
“The problem has been created on the other side of the border and the solution of this problem also lies there. That’s why the bigger responsibility of implementing the agreement lies on Myanmar shoulder, but we haven’t got that kind of response from Myanmar yet,” she said.
Hasina said the process of repatriation of the Rohingays has to be started. “The situation which will encourage the Rohingyas to go back to their homeland has to be created by Myanmar. Myanmar has to take that responsibility,” the PM was quoted as telling Parolin.
She also renewed her five-point demand she placed in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last year.
Hasina also said the report of the Kofi Annan Commission is yet to be implemented by Myanmar.
She urged the Holy See and the international community to keep up their pressure on the Myanmar government to implement the Kofi Annan Commission report.
Some 689,040 Rohingya people have crossed over to Bangladesh from Myanmar since August 25, 2007 amid persecution by Myanmar military in its Rakhine State.
On September 21, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina placed a five-point proposal at the 72nd UNGA session for a permanent solution to the crisis.
Myanmar must unconditionally stop the violence and the practice of ethnic cleansing in the Rakhine State immediately and forever, the UN Secretary General should immediately send a fact-finding mission to Myanmar, all civilians irrespective of religion and ethnicity must be protected in Myanmar, ensuring their sustainable return and implementing the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission Report.
About terrorism, the Prime Minister renewed her government’s stance that her government would never tolerate anybody to carry out insurgent acts from Bangladesh soil.
Hasina said terrorists cannot continue their evil acts without the support of people and that mass people are now aware against such social menaces following an anti-terrorism campaign by her government.
Pietro Parolin highly appreciating the move taken by Hasina’s government in this regard and said, “That’s the right way.”
Earlier the Prime Minister met Pope Francis at his office in the Vatican City.
During the meeting, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said, Pope Francis highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for sheltering over one million Ronigyas forcibly evicted from Myanmar saying Bangladesh has now become an example to follow for its humanitarian role.
Pope was very critical against the countries, including the USA, for not hosting the refugees, Shahidul Haque said adding that he described the Rohingya issue as very important in this regard.
The Foreign Secretary mentioned that Pope Francis also lauded the existing religious harmony in Bangladesh and said Bangladesh has been recognised worldwide as a country of humanity and communal harmony.
He said the highest leader of the catholic Christian community wanted to know whether the Rohingyas will be repatriated to their homeland with safety, security and sustainability.
In response, the Prime Minister apprised him of the entire issue saying Bangladesh signed a deal with Myanmar so that the Rohingyas could return to their homes safely.
Hasina also highlighted her government’s success stories and development strides in various sectors.