NEW DELHI, Oct 8 - Notwithstanding assurances by India, Bangladesh has said it is going to keep an eye on the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise in Assam.
Bangladesh foreign secretary Shahidul Haque said his country was reassured by the explanation given by India that the implementation of the NRC in Assam is an internal matter, but added that Dhaka will keep a close eye on the developments.
On the eve of their departure to Dhaka, speaking on the outcome of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina�s four-day visit to India that included a bilateral meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Haque told newsmen that the NRC issue figured in the bilateral meeting as well as a meeting between the two Prime Ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month.
�Prime Minister Modi has explained to Prime Minister Hasina the process that India has put up, in terms of making sure that everybody is eventually included in this, and we were told that this is an internal matter of India,� Haque said. �Our relationship is currently the best of the best..., but at the same time, we are keeping our eyes quite open,� he added.
Asked about statements coming from different quarters about sending back people who could not prove their Indian identity, Haque said, �This is an internal matter and we continue to believe in that, and I think we shouldn�t make a crisis out of nothing at this stage and we should be able to wait and see.�
Sources said the Bangladeshi side raised the NRC issue, while the Indian side pointed out that it was an �ongoing process� mandated and directed by India�s Supreme Court, whose final outcome was awaited.
The Bangladesh foreign secretary on his part noted that the movement of people was a global issue as he pointed to the example of the US and Mexico. �There have always been issues regarding mobility between neighbouring states,� he said.
On the Rohingya issue, Haque said Modi and Hasina shared the view that these people should be able to go back to their homes in Myanmar�s Rakhine state. �India enjoys very good relations with Myanmar. So our Prime Minister has requested (India) to convince Myanmar authorities to take back their nationals,� Haque said.
Describing bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India as the �best� ever in years, Haque said the relationship is �still growing in a very dynamic manner� and it �centres around our joint effort to curb terrorism and violent extremism, and keep our border safe.�