Afghan issue casts shadow over Rohingya crisis

 Afghan issue casts shadow over Rohingya crisis

Former foreign secretary Md Shahidul Haque addresses the book launching event on 21 September, 2021 | Screen-grab

Discussants at a virtual event on Tuesday said the Rohingya crisis is losing global attention and as a result, there is no quick possibility of resolving the crisis.

And this has happened because of the geopolitics surrounding the Indo-Pacific regions, and the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, the discussants said adding a new approach is required to solve the Rohingya crisis.

Centre for Peace Studies (CPS) under the North South University (NSU) and Prothoma Prokashon jointly organised the event to unveil cover of the Prothoma research publication Rohingya Sharanarthi-Jibon: Anishchit Aagami O Sabhyatar Dai.

The programme was launched with a poem recitation by Mohammad Ahtaram–a young representative of the Myanmar minority group Rohingya currently leading their refugee life at Cox’s Bazar-based Rohingya camps.

In his welcome speech, NSU teacher professor Helal Mohammad Mohiuddin briefed about CPS. Associate professor Bulbul Siddiqi and assistant professor Ishrat Zakia Sultana of NSU–also authors of the book–gave a glimpse of the publication.

Migration and refugee expert professor CR Abrar said the existing Rohingya crisis remained unsolved for last five years.

That’s why the persecuted people are losing global empathy, he said adding the permanent members of the UN Security Council are responsible to maintain global peace.

CR Abrar, also the executive director at Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RAMMRU), said they gave priority to their economic gain as well as strategic interests over the Rohingya crisis and they showed they were driven by narrow group interests.

“Bangladesh must ensure her national security. A security threat will be created for Bangladesh as well as the regional and international arena if the Rohingya people are not allowed to develop as human being. We have to think about new approach to solve the crisis,” he added.

North University vice-chancellor professor Atiqul Islam said, “In the present days, human values ​​are being demeaned all over the world by narrow group interests. We can see the proof in Myanmar, Afghanistan and Syria. The powerful countries do not bother about the future of Afghan and Rohingya children. It cannot go on like this forever.”

Former foreign ministry secretary Md Shahidul Haque, a fellow of South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance under NSU, said, there is no way to deny that the existing Afghanistan situation and the stakes at Indo-Pacific geopolitics are shedding the Rohingya issue off. It will result in fewer allocations of emergency fund as well as blurring global attention. Hence, a fresh approach to resolve the crisis is a necessity. Civil society should take initiative in this regard.

Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman said, “The Rohingya crisis intensified since the 2017 influx. This has become a great concern for the society, economy and state affairs of Bangladesh. Moreover, we cannot see any quick solution of the crisis. We doubt about how the issue could attract global attention during the ongoing Afghan crisis.”

Appraising the research initiative by NSU, Matiur Rahman said, “The country is now seeing fewer research works. On the other hand, various issues of Bangladesh are being researched and getting published in abroad. But we encourage field research and publication of the findings — in Bangla and English languages — in Bangladesh.”

NSU’s senior lecturer Tata Zafar moderated the virtual event also addressed by Prothoma Prokashon coordinator Arun Bosu and Prothom Alo diplomatic correspondent Raheed Ejaz.

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