No persecution under current regime, MEA clarifies on Bangladesh in CAB
Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen, who was scheduled to attend two events in India, put off his visit.Updated: Dec 12, 2019 18:06 IST
Hours after Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen put off his India visit, the Ministry of External Affiars (MEA) said it is not linked to the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed by Parliament on Wednesday.
The MEA said that Bangladesh had communicated to it the reason of the postponement of the visit. “The visit has been postponed due to domestic issues in Bangladesh in connection with their Victory Day on December 16. The speculation that it has something to do with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed by our Parliament on Wednesday are unwarranted,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“Our relationship is strong. As leaders of both the countries have said ‘this is the golden age of our relations’,” he added.
Watch l Bangladesh minister scraps India visit; India says nothing to do with CAB
When asked if the postponement has to do with the criticism of Bangladesh’s treatment of minorities, he said, “We never said there was religious persecution in Bangladesh during the current government’s tenure.”
Momen was scheduled to arrive in Delhi on Thursday for a three-day visit to attend the sixth edition of the Indian Ocean Dialogue and the combined session of the Delhi Dialogue XI.
He was also supposed to hold talks on bilateral issues with External Affairs Minister S Jaishanker.
“I had to cancel my trip to New Delhi as I have to participate in the Buddijibi Debosh and Bijoy Debosh and more so as our State Minister is out of the country in Madrid and our Foreign Secretary is in The Hague. Given increasing demand at home, I decided to cancel his trip,” said Momen.
The foreign minister said that he is looking forward to his January visit.
Earlier on Tuesday, Momen has rejected Home Minister Amit Shah’s statements on the condition of religious minorities in Bangladesh, calling the remarks as ‘unwarranted as well as untrue’.
“What they are saying in regards to torture on Hindus is unwarranted as well as untrue. There are very few countries in the world where communal harmony is as good as in Bangladesh. We have no minorities. We are all equal,” he said.
He also invited Shah to witness the communal harmony in Bangladesh by visiting the country.