Govt keeping close watch on the Rohingya issue: Jaishankar

RSTV Bureau

India is in touch with Myanmar and Bangladesh on the issue of Rohingya Muslims, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar is understood to have told the members of a parliamentary panel.

File photo of foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

File photo of foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

The agenda for today’s meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, was ‘relations with Myanmar and the Rohingya situation’.

The foreign secretary told the panel that the government was keeping a close watch on the Rohingya issue and was examining the matter through humanitarian prism, said a member present in the meeting.

India was in touch with both Myanmar and Bangladesh over the situation arising out of the crisis, another member quoted Jaishankar as saying.

Asked about the deliberations, Tharoor, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, said, “It was an interesting and thorough discussion on the India-Myanmar relations, especially on Rohingya crisis.”

Thousands of Rohingyas have fled Myanmar following incidents of violence in the Rakhine province.

Around 14,000 Rohingyas living in India are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. An estimate puts the number of illegal Rohingya immigrants in India at 40,000.

The Rohingyas are an ethnic group, largely comprising Muslims, who predominantly live in the western Myanmar province of Rakhine. Their language is linguistically similar to Bengali. The commonly spoken language in Myanmar in Burmese.

Though they have been living in Myanmar for generations, the country considers them as persons who migrated to their land during the colonial rule. Therefore, the population has not been granted full citizenship