Bangladesh Foreign Minister defers India visit, says not linked to CAB


Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen has deferred his visit to India, but clarified that this has nothing to do with a controversial legislation passed by the Indian parliament that grants citizenship to religious minorities from three Muslim-majority countries including Bangladesh.

Mr Momen cancelled his visit to India barely hours before he was to address the Delhi Dialogue, a high-profile conference of strategic experts and officials from ASEAN and neighbouring countries in New Delhi.

No fresh dates have been announced for the visit by the Bangladesh foreign minister.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs clarified 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 told reporters in New Delhi on December 12.

However, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has sparked concerns and even anger among some sections in Bangladesh. “What they are saying in regards to torture on Hindus is unwarranted as well as untrue,” Mr Momen told Dhaka Tribune. “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. If he [Amit Shah] stayed in Bangladesh for a few months, he would see the exemplary communal harmony in our country.”