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Suspect nexus between Pakistan and insurgent Rohingya groups: Hossain Toufique Imam

In an exclusive interview to WION Bangladesh Prime Minister's political advisor Hossain Toufique Imam speaks about the fallout of the Rohingya crisis and the implications for his country

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Suspect nexus between Pakistan and insurgent Rohingya groups: Hossain Toufique Imam
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A senior political advisor in Bangladesh has said that the Rohingya crisis has major security implications for the country. Hossain Toufique Imam, political affairs advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, added that a nexus between Pakistan and insurgent groups such as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) could not be ruled out due to Pak involvement in funding similar groups in the past.

"Given the background and what they (Pakistan) did in the past, the nexus that was seen in August 2004, you can presume that they are not sitting idle," he said, referring to a grenade attack that year at one of Hasina's rallies.

Imam appreciated India for coming out strongly for Bangladesh and addressing the Rohingya issue. "Initially, there was some misgivings but India has come out strongly for us," he said.

Beyond humanitarian assistance to Bangladesh, he said, major powers have failed to put pressure Myanmar to end the violence and take back its people.

He also lauded India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's remarks at an informal meeting of foreign ministers in New York. "Sushma Swaraj is right that our regional cooperation is not working the way it should. In fact it has never taken off the way it should have," he said.

He also reiterated that "Bangladesh will not allow any group to use the soil of Bangladesh against the integrity or sovereignty of any of our neighbours, that is most importantly India and then Myanmar and even Bhutan."

As for China, Imam said that despite investments and solidarity, Bangladesh could not expect Chinese cooperation in the Rohingya crisis. "China has been a very old friend of Pakistan and China has for many years been in Myanmar," said Imam.

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