Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 17 October 2021 called the displaced Rohingyas and stranded Pakistanis as burden for Bangladesh, saying they are putting pressure on country’s economy. “Three years have already passed after Rohingyas influx in Bangladesh and it’s a burden for us,” she said.

The prime minister said this while newly appointed Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh Anne Gerard Van Leeuwen paid a courtesy call on her at her official Ganabhaban residence here. She added that the Rohingyas are also destroying the environment and forest resources of Cox’s Bazar. She also talked about the stranded Pakistanis, saying, “These (forcibly displaced Rohingyas by Myanmar and stranded Pakistanis) are creating economic pressure on Bangladesh.”

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed the newsmen after the meeting. Talking about the Rohingya issue, the Netherlands envoy apprised of his talking about the issue with the refugees and NGO activists. He expressed his realization that the solution is rooted in sending back the Rohingyas to their native land Myanmar.

Sheikh Hasina appreciated the Netherlands contribution to her country’s development and formulate the Delta Plan-2100. To this end, she recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s stance to develop Bangladesh through land reclamation like the Netherlands. Recalling her last visit to the Netherlands the Prime Minister said that she was overwhelmed to see production and preservation of agricultural items using the Green House system. “We can also adopt the system as our country is an agro-based one,” she said. The Dutch envoy said they are eager to share their experience to this end.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is doing the river dredging in the country as part of the measures to increase water reservoirs to preserve water. The Prime Minister said that they are converting Cox’s Bazar airport into an international airport to attract more tourists to the world’s longest unbroken sandy sea beach.

She said her government is setting up 100 economic zones in different parts of the country to attract more domestic and foreign investment and thus spur the country’s overall development. Dutch Ambassador Anne Gerard Van Leeuwen appreciated Bangladesh’s development under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The envoy said that he had travelled Bangladesh by air and witnessed the landscape of the country which he said similar to his own country.

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