Defence

India seeks closest ties with Bangladesh; sees no NRC, CAA impact

Highlighting the “most extensive and integrated” relationship between the two countries, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday said the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will have no impact on Bangladesh.

“These are purely internal to India,” Shringla said.

He was delivering the keynote speech at a seminar on “Bangladesh and India: A Promising Future” at Sonargaon Hotel in the city. The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) and Indian High Commission in Dhaka jointly organised the event.

As the closest neighbours with so many shared cultural traits, Shringla said 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.

One recent example, he said, is the process of updating the National Register of Citizens in Assam, which has taken place entirely at the direction and under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India.

“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. Therefore, there’ll be no implications for the government and the people of Bangladesh. You’ve our assurance on that count,” he explained.

Prime Minister’s International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi spoke as the chief guest at the seminar highlighting the relationship between the two countries. He laid emphasis on water sharing issues and protecting the secular values.

Dr Rizvi said Bangladesh and India need to work very closely to protect secular society and also sought a long-term solution to all the problems between the two countries.

BIISS Chairman Ambassador Fazlul Karim, Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das and acting Director General of BIISS Colonel Sheikh Masud Ahmed also spoke at the programme.

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