New Delhi (Sputnik) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has expressed deep concern over the loss of innocent lives in the ongoing "extremist violence" in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Modi, who is on a three-day visit to the country, urged all stakeholders to find a solution that would restore peace while respecting Myanmar's territorial integrity. The two countries have vowed to boost security cooperation to combat militancy on each other's soil.
In his joint statement with Suu Kyi, Modi said India shares Myanmar's concerns over the "extremist violence" in the Rakhine state, especially the loss of lives of innocent civilians and security personnel.
"When it comes to a big peace process or finding a solution to a special issue, we hope that all stakeholders can work together towards finding a solution which while respecting the unity and territorial integrity of Myanmar ensures peace, justice and dignity for all," Modi said.
On her part, Suu Kyi thanked Modi for maintaining a tough stance on terrorism and made it clear that she is not in favor of allowing taking root in Myanmar's soil.
"Together we will ensure that terror is not allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighboring countries," Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said after her meeting with the visiting Indian Prime Minister.
Suu Kyi was earlier quoted as describing the "global outrage over Myanmar's treatment of its Rohingya Muslims" as "a huge iceberg of misinformation."
A day earlier, India's junior home minister Kiren Rijiju had reiterated India's stance on deporting Rohingya Muslims staying illegally in the country. But, several rights groups in India expect the government to protect the Rohingya refugees. A petition has been filed in India's apex court against the government's decision to deport Rohingyas.
"Though India has not signed UN convention on refugees, it has signed several other conventions that all mention principle of non-refoulment which means you cannot send back a person to a country where he would face severe repression, a threat to his life and liberty etc. That is the petition we have filed. Yesterday Supreme Court asked the government to respond to that and the case will be heard next Monday," lawyer and social activist, Prashant Bhushan, told Sputnik.
Indian security experts, however, say the government has played out a balanced approach to dealing with the issue, especially in the wake of Prime Minister's visit to Myanmar.
"India-Myanmar ties have improved tremendously in recent years, particularly when seen in the context of Chinese presence in that country. India is not going to raise the Rohingya Muslim issue publicly with Myanmar; though they may do so privately. In fact, it is possible that it may not figure at all in bilateral deliberations. We certainly don't want to erase all the goodwill generated with Myanmar. Also, the issue is not even an irritant in Indo-Myanmar ties like the way it is between Bangladesh and Myanmar," Dr. Smruti Pattanaik, Research Fellow, Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses told Sputnik.
The protracted battle between Myanmar's military and Rohingya Muslims has not only resulted in deaths of thousands of civilians and security personnel but has also unleashed a refugee crisis in the region with thousands of Rohingyas fleeing Myanmar and taking refuge in neighboring India and Bangladesh. India has claimed it has received intelligence inputs that international terror groups have been training and funding the Rohingyas with the intention of converting them into a full-fledged militant outfit capable of unleashing terror in the region.
Rohingya militants had raided police posts in Myanmar's Rakhine state last month, killing 12 security personnel, prompting the country's military to launch a massive security operation.