16:56 GMT +314 October 2019
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    Rohingya Muslim refugees arrive from Myanmar after crossing the Naf river in the Bangladeshi town of Teknaf

    India Cannot Be Faulted for Taking Pragmatic Stance on Rohingyas - Expert

    © AFP 2019 / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN
    Asia & Pacific
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    As the Rohingya crisis widens with potential ramifications for the whole of South Asia and Southeast Asia, a top United Nations official has criticized India's decision to deport Rohingya immigrants. However, some experts feel that India’s posture is pragmatic in its own right.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, on Monday accused Myanmar of carrying out "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing" against Rohingya Muslims. Not only that, Hussein slammed India for taking measures to "deport Rohingyas at a time of such violence against them in their country".

    India has not only decided to deport some 40,000 Rohingya Muslims illegally residing in the country, but also dissociated itself on Thursday from a declaration adopted at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development in Bali, Indonesia, referring to violence in the Rakhine state of Myanmar.

    "This was in view of the fact that the declaration, which was to be adopted at the conclusion of the Forum, was not in line with the agreed global principles of sustainable development," said a press release issued by Lok Sabha- India's lower house of Parliament.

    The press release was in conjunction with the resolution adopted by a Parliamentary delegation led by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his visit to Myanmar where he expressed solidarity with the government there against the "extremist violence" in the Rakhine state. Modi had on Wednesday urged all stakeholders to find a solution that respected Myanmar's unity.

    The Indian government's stance has been questioned in many quarters including from some opposition legislators.

    ​Experts in the country, however, say India cannot be faulted for taking a pragmatic stand.

    "India has gained a sense of trust at the highest echelons of Myanmar's ruling elite after sustained diplomatic efforts. Myanmar is at the heart of the Modi government's Act East policy with the India-Myanmar-Thailand Asian Trilateral Highway, the Kaladan multimodal project, a road-river-port cargo transport project, and of course BIMSTEC, the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation. Our geopolitical and security interests continue to shape our policy towards Myanmar. With China's profile rising in our vicinity, New Delhi is enhancing its presence by developing infrastructure and connectivity projects in the country," Harsh Pant, Professor and Distinguished Fellow, and Head of ORF's Strategic Studies program told Sputnik.

    The Myanmar military launched a combing operation following an attack by armed Rohingya militants on police posts and a military base in the western state of Rakhine, which borders Bangladesh. The Myanmar authorities said 15 members of the security forces and 370 militants had been killed in the fighting. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the country since late August to escape the military crackdown.



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