Zia created Rohingya problem: Hasina


Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina speaks during the General Debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 21 September 2017. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA-EFE

Hours before her foreign minister arrives in Myanmar to discuss the refugee issue, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has blamed the country's late military ruler Lt-Gen Ziaur Rahman for 'creating' the Rohingya problem.

''Zia created this problem and now his party BNP and ally Jamaat e Islami want to fish in troubled waters,'' Hasina told the parliament.

The late military ruler Ziaur Rahman allegedly sent his military intelligence chief in 1977 to contact and promise Rohingya leaders of Bangladesh support for armed struggle to create an Islamic Republic of North Rakhine.

Subsequent Rohingya armed activity provoked the Burmese military junta to unleash Operation Naga Min in February 1978 that led to the first refugee exodus.

''They want such trouble to continue so that our border region with Myanmar is disturbed. They think this will help them in elections,'' Hasina said.

Her cabinet colleague Matia Chowdhury has recently blamed Pakistan for instigating the ARSA terrorists to launch serial attacks against Burmese security forces.

Hasina's political adviser H T Imam had described ARSA as the 'common enemy' of Myanmar, Bangladesh and India and said it had strong links to. Bangladesh's JMB and Pakistani jihadi groups.

Hasina told the parliament that her country was facing an 'unprecedented humanitarian crisis' over the influx of more than half a million Rohingya since August and called upon Myanmar to help resolve the problem.

Bangladesh foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali arrives in Myanmar on Thursday to discuss the issue of repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

Hasina has called for emergency special session of UNHCR to strategize a solution to end the crisis.

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