Rohingya exodus will pose security threat to Asian countries: Siddique


Security Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique today urged the international agencies to work zealously in order to ensure safe environment in Myanmar for the repatriation of Rohingyas from Bangladesh.

He rightly pointed out that by observing the exodus of over 1.1 million Myanmar people to Bangladesh will pose security threat not only to Bangladesh but also many countries in Asia region.

“Foreign NGOs like UNHCR and IOM must ensure that they (Rohingyas) will be safe in Myanmar, otherwise they will be too scared to go back,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of a two-day security meet in the capital.

Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) arranged the ‘Second Meeting of Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum’ at its auditorium.

Speaking as the chief guest, Siddique said if the Rohingya problem is not solved, many nations will be affected apart from Bangladesh.

“We should solve it amicably…we should all try to concentrate on how to solve their problem (Rohingya crisis). And I am hopeful,” he added.

Highlighting various security threats, the security affair adviser said in the world’s present scenario, cooperative security is an ideal approach to address the regional security.

“And the concept of cooperative security believes that the nations have more common interests…and some common threats,” he added.

Stating that all the BIMSTEC countries consider security challenges from terrorism and violent extremism, he said the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and India justify the necessity of regional cooperation in countering extremism and terrorism in the Bay of Bengal region.

Siddique said there are also various types of non-traditional security concerns like climate change, energy crisis, food, security issues, water scarcity, forced migration, displacement and cyber security.

He said Bangladesh has been successfully curbing the menace of terrorism and militancy from its territory as the present government accelerated the efforts by initiating a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to terrorism and militancy.
“The policy is implemented through the combination of the enactments of laws, specialised forces and community mobilisation, which is very important,” he said adding the counter terrorism operation is made by a specialised team of law enforcing agencies.

Noting that tracking of militant financing is very important, the security affairs adviser said Bangladesh is the first country in the South Asia that enacted the Money Laundering Prevention Act-2012.

“The government recently also announced zero tolerance to drug to make the society free from it.”

He said regional security is very important because every region has its security environment defined by the geographical location and geopolitical and socioeconomic situations.

Recalling that BIMSTEC member states share similar historical legacy and they are interlinked with values, ethics and destinies, Siddique said the population of BIMSTEC countries is one fifth of the world’s total population and this factor gives a huge advantage for achieving secured technology and economic cooperation from the blue economy of the Bay of Bengal.

Acting Foreign Secretary Kamrul Ahasan and BIMSTEC Director General Ambassador M Shahidul Islam also spoke on the occasion with BIISS Director General Major General AKM Abdur Rahman in the chair.

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