Bangladesh has strongly protested Myanmar’s “baseless and provocative” claim regarding the existence of two Arakan Army and three ARSA bases in Bangladesh territory.
“Bangladesh is utterly disappointed and aggrieved to note some media reports based on remarks by the Spokesperson of Myanmar President’s Office on January 7,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Bangladesh said the current clashes in the state of Rakhine are the outcome of Myanmar own political and social dilemma.
“The allegations are totally fake and baseless. It’s not possible to operate terrorist bases anywhere in Bangladesh because of high alertness and effective preventive measures by security forces in the line with “zero tolerance policy” of the present government of Bangladesh under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” the statement reads.
According to MoFA statement, Bangladesh government will highly appreciate it if the Myanmar government does not make any attempt to blame Bangladesh with their “internal political puzzle.”
“Bangladesh is also firmly committed not to allowing its soil to be used by any dissident group of any neighbouring country. The government has taken all possible measures, including compressive international engagements in counter-terrorism to fully implement the commitment,” the MoFA statement notes.
Bangladesh has reaffirmed that there is no existence of any foreign terrorist groups within Bangladesh nor Bangladesh is harbouring any terrorist organisation within its soil.
“Security forces of Bangladesh alongside border always remain vigilant to prevent any untoward incidents that may affect the existing peaceful relation between neighbors,” it says.
Bangladesh’s comprehensive cooperation in counter-terrorism with some of the neighbouring countries proved to be the highly effective, the statement reads.
“The government of Bangladesh had offered similar type of comprehensive bilateral cooperation mechanism to Myanmar on a number of occasions.”
The statement says Bangladesh, on several instances, proposed Myanmar to conduct joint operation in addressing claimed terrorist activities along the border area. “But unfortunately, not much enthusiasm received from Myanmar side.”
Even Myanmar failed to provide Bangladesh with specific details and concrete evidence on the alleged terrorist elements and acts, the statement adds.
Bangladesh is acclaimed by the international community for its unflinching commitment and bold actions in the combat of terrorism at national, regional and global level, said the MoFA.
Bangladesh has said it always stands ready to engage in comprehensive cooperation mechanism with any country, including Myanmar, in the combat of terrorism.
The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA), also known by its former name Harakah al-Yaqin, is a group reportedly active in northern Rakhine State, Myanmar.