'Spoke to PM Modi...Everything is Fine': Bangladesh's Sheikh Hasina Says No Problem With NRC
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INDIA - October 4, 2019

‘Spoke to PM Modi…Everything is Fine’: Bangladesh’s Sheikh Hasina Says No Problem With NRC

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Thursday said that she was satisfied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance that her country should not be perturbed over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being implemented in Assam.

Hasina is in Delhi to attend the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum and is scheduled to meet Modi on Saturday to hold bilateral talks.

According to an Indian Express report, speaking about the NRC at a reception hosted by Bangladesh envoy Syed Muazzem Ali, Hasina said that she doesn’t ‘see a problem’ with the exercise. “I had a talk with PM Modi. Everything is okay,” she was quoted as saying.

Her remarks come a week after she met Modi in New York and said that the NRC has become a matter of ‘great concern’ for Bangladeshis. The Indian PM is learnt to have assured his Bangladeshi counterpart and said that there is ‘nothing to be worried’ about since the two countries shared good relations.

However, it must be noted that Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated in Kolkata Tuesday that the government would “identify each and every infiltrator and drive them out”.

As of now, the NRC has included 3.11 crore applicants as citizens, and excluded 19 lakh. The Assam’s citizenship exercise of NRC has also raised concern in Bangladesh as many fear that those rendered non-citizens of India may be pushed into Bangladesh.

But India maintains that it is their internal issue which in no way will affect Bangladesh, a promise that Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul earlier said Dhaka trusts.However, according to the news agency IANS, the foreign minister said they would raise the NRC issue and the pending Teesta water sharing deal during talks.

Meanwhile, addressing the WEF’s summit, Hasina said that Bangladesh “can serve as the economic hub for the sub-region”. “Beyond our own 162 million people, Bangladesh can be the connecting landmass to a combined market of nearly 3 billion people,” she said.

On Friday, Hasina will attend an interactive session with select CEOs of India and the Inauguration of India-Bangladesh Business Forum (IBBF) at ITC Maurya and WEF Closing Plenary at Hotel Taj Palace. The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Heng Swee Keat will call on Sheikh Hasina on Friday evening.

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