Rohingya Vision

Govt to arrange spl documents for Rohingyas in KSA

Govt to arrange spl documents for Rohingyas in KSA
July 18
13:16 2013

Rezaul Karim and Belal Hossain Biplob

Daily Star

July 18, 2013

The government is actively considering issuing “special documents” to Rohingya Muslims who obtained Bangladeshi passports illegally and have travelled to Saudi Arabia over the past several years.
The papers will look like passports but recognise the Rohingyas living in the kingdom as “Myanmar Muslims and not citizens of Bangladesh,” a highly placed source told The Daily Star yesterday.
The Pakistan government earlier provided similar special documents to Myanmar Muslims, who went to Saudi Arabia from Pakistan illegally in the last several years.
Meanwhile, Minister for Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Khandker Mosharraf Hossain at a press conference also announced that Bangladesh would issue identity cards for around five lakh Rohingyas who live in Saudi Arabia without work permits.
However, officials of the foreign and home ministries contradicted the expatriate minister’s announcement, saying the matter was still under discussion with the Saudi government and Dhaka had not yet even finalised its policy to provide the Rohingyas with documents as it was quite a complex and lengthy process.
They said the decision to provide the Rohingyas with special documents would also help relieve Bangladesh of the Saudi government’s pressure on it to recognise the Rohingyas as Bangladesh citizens.
“If both the Saudi and Bangladesh governments reach an understanding, Bangladesh may need to issue special documents to 60,000 to 200,000 Rohingya Muslims now living in Saudi Arabia illegally,” said a senior official of the foreign ministry.
Meanwhile, Dhaka has turned down a Saudi request to take back 378 Rohingyas, who have been identified as notorious criminals and put in jail on various charges. The Saudi government claimed that these Rohingyas had arrived with Bangladeshi passports.
Talking to The Daily Star, the foreign ministry official said with consent from the ministries of foreign, home, law and expatriates welfare, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had approved a summary of the special documents for the Rohingyas who went to Saudi Arabia on Bangladeshi passports illegally.
After the PM’s approval, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni during her meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on May 4 formally proposed issuing special documents to the Rohingyas.
The Saudi minister then assured his Bangladesh counterpart of looking into the matter. Since then, Dhaka has been in talks with Riyadh on the issuance of such documents.
As the issue is related to immigration, the foreign ministry handed over responsibility to the home ministry, which is now preparing a comprehensive proposal to be placed before the Saudi government after vetting by the ministry of law and approval by the prime minister.
The source said the ministry would soon convene a joint meeting of the ministries of foreign, home, law and expatriate welfare to finalise a draft of the proposal.
If the Saudi government accepts the proposal, the Bangladesh government will then call tenders for printing the special documents.

The news is originally published by Daily Star on: RvisionTv gives due credit to the original publishers. 



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