NRC to have ‘no implications’ for Bangladesh, says Foreign Secy Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Seeking to rebuild strained ties with Bangladesh regarding updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Monday said the process is “entirely internal to India” and will have no implications on the country or people of Bangladesh.

“As closest of neighbours, it is inevitable that events in each other’s countries create ripples across the border. A recent example is a process of updating NRC in Assam, which has taken place entirely at the direction of the Supreme Court,” Shringla said here at a seminar titled “Bangladesh and India: A promising Future.”

“This is a process that is entirely internal to India. Therefore there will be no implications for the Bangladesh Government and the people of Bangladesh. You have our assurance on that count,” the foreign secretary added.

Shringla, who is currently on a two-day visit to Bangladesh, is the first high-level contact with the Sheikh Hasina government since protests against citizenship law and NRC erupted all across India.

Bangladesh has also recently seen fresh anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest erupting in the national capital due to which 47 people have lost their lives so far.

Bilateral ties between India and Bangladesh became strained after New Delhi enacted the CAA last December.

Meanwhile, ahead of the visit of Narendra Modi to Dhaka on March 17 to commemorate the birth anniversary of ‘Bangabandhu’ or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Shringla stated that the Prime Minister has been looking forward to this visit, both because of the priority he attaches to the relationship with the neighbour.

“PM Modi has been specially invited to take part in the inaugural ceremony of Mujib Barsho later this month. We are looking forward to this visit, both because of the priority Prime Minister attaches to this relationship and even more so, because Bangabandhu is just so iconic – as a globally-recognised statesman and iconic symbol of liberation for Bangladesh and for our subcontinent. For us in India, there is a special resonance to his name,” he said.

Modi is likely to visit Bangladesh from March 16 to 18 where he will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina, according to local media reports.

Dhaka Tribune, citing multiple sources, has reported that a wide range of bilateral issues is expected to be discussed during PM Modi’s official talks with Sheikh Hasina on March 18.