Dhaka – Indian External Affairs Secretary has said the issue of updating National Register of Citizenship in Assam, which has already created uproars among Indians, will have no implication for Bangladesh.
“Let me clearly state here what our leadership has repeatedly confirmed at the highest level to the Government of Bangladesh: this is a process that is entirely internal to India,” Harsh Vardhan Shringla told a gathering in Dhaka on Monday.
Shringla is in Dhaka on a two-day visit to finalize the programe for a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is likely to be the main speaker of Bangladesh’s celebration of birth centenary of its founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 17.
As far as the NRC is concerned, violent protests had erupted Assam last year after the BJP government led by Narendra Modi adopted the controversial move, which requires people to produce documents of ancestry to be enlisted as Indian citizens.
A final list of citizens published on August 31, based on the NRC excluded nearly 1.9 million residents of Assam. And Indian Home Minister Amit Shah has been hinting at following the Assam model of NRC across India.
Indian Prime Minister Modi earlier tried to dispel confusion saying the move would not affect Bangladesh, the closest neihoubour.
Shringla shared the same views saying Bangladesh and India share many shared cultural traits. “It is also inevitable that events in each other’s countries create ripples across the border –irrespective of whether there is real justification for this,” he said referring to the NRC.
It will have no implications for the Government and people of Bangladesh, he said.
“You have our assurance on that count,” he added.
The Indian external affairs secretary also talked about the possibilities of finalization of deals over sharing of waters on seven common rivers between Bangladesh and India. The Rohingya refugee crisis, use of Bangladeshi ports to transport goods for India, infrastructure development, improvement of ports, river dredging and other trade related issues featured in his statement.
Shringla is scheduled to leave Dhaka for New Delhi on Tuesday.