New Delhi (Sputnik) – The refugee crisis triggered by the persecution of Muslims in Myanmar is set to overshadow all other bilateral issues during the upcoming meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee (JCC) of India and Bangladesh. India’s Minister for External Affairs (MEA) will be leading the Indian delegation to the fourth JCC that is to be held in Dhaka on October 23. This would be Swaraj’s second visit to Dhaka in the capacity of India’s foreign minister.
The issue of Rohingya refugees is expected to take center stage at the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Committee meet as both countries are grappling with a heavy influx of the illegal immigrants after the government of Myanmar launched a military campaign to flush out Rohingyas from the country’s restive Rakhine province.
Though India has assured full humanitarian support to Bangladesh to deal with the influx of Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh wants India to play a more pro-active role and put pressure on Myanmar to end violence against Rohingyas. However, India has been reluctant to do so, given its proximity to Myanmar and friendly relations with the establishment there.
“Sushma Swaraj’s upcoming Bangladesh visit will be most important in view of the changing political situation after the Rohingya crisis. India wants to keep a fine balance between Bangladesh and Myanmar as both are its neighboring allies. Further, India has to counter the increasing Chinese influence both in Bangladesh and Myanmar, therefore maintain strong bilateral ties with both the countries is imperative for India,” former Indian ambassador to the Philippines and Tajikistan Yogendra Kumar told Sputnik.