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Tuesday, June 23, 2015, Ashar 9, 1422 BS, Ramadan 5, 1436 Hijr

Myanmar sets condition for release of Razzak
BDR DG says he will be sent back unconditionally  
Published : Tuesday, 23 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 180
Saleem Samad    
Abdur Razzak, Nayek of Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB), abducted by Myanmar Border Guard Police (BGP) five days ago, is unlikely to see his newly born child as Naypyidaw has tightened noose on him, setting preconditions to his release.
Myanmar authority says release of "captured" Razzak will be considered only if Dhaka agrees to take back around 600 trafficked migrants from the second rescue ship, influential newspaper Burma Times reported on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Director General of the BGB, Major general Anwar Hossain, who is now in China, in a message to the Daily Observer said, "I had talk with our Defence Attache in Myanmar Brig Gen Mahbub at around 19:00pm on Monday. He informed me that he had a meeting with the Myanmar Home Ministry. The Ministry informed that the BGB Nayek Razzak will be returned honourably with his personal weapon, ammunition etc unconditionally". On May 29, Myanmar navy intercepted a ship with 727 migrants from the coastline in the Irrawaddy region. They are currently imprisoned in Taimbru near the Bangladesh border.
Despite urgency for flag meeting between senior area commanders of border guards of both countries, Myanmar has not responded to BGB's request, which gives a clear message that the Abdur Razzaq would not be returned soon.
Authorities in Dhaka have meanwhile opened diplomatic channels to defuse the fresh row between the two neighbours after the capture of Abdur Razzaq and seriously wounded another.
Bangladesh ambassador to Myanmar Mohammad Sufiur Rahman met the newly appointed Foreign Secretary on Friday and urged for early release of the captured soldier.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Foreign Office has twice summoned Myanmar ambassador in Dhaka Myo Myint Than and lodged strong protest with his government and urged for unconditional release of Abdur Razzaq.
Additional Foreign Secretary Mizanur Rahman handed over a note verbal to Myanmar ambassador asking him to convey his government to send back BGB soldier immediately.
Bangladesh also lodged strong protest with Myanmar for publishing Razzaq's photos with handcuffed.
Bangladesh authorities are tight lipped regarding the Myanmar willing to proceed with the trail of the captured soldier. The indication of Myanmar to book him for trial in military court has frustrated the efforts to release the beleaguered soldier.
If Myanmar goes for legal measures, the return of Razzaq will be delayed, the official said.
In a desperate attempt to push their case, Myanmar now wants Bangladesh to identify around six hundred of the migrants as their nationals and take them back. In return, Naypyidaw assured that they will hand over a soldier captured in the Naaf river last Wednesday.
The Foreign Ministry officials could not believe that Myanmar would propose to swap the lone BGB soldier for hundreds of boatpeople, whose identity was likely to be Rohingya Muslims.
A Foreign Ministry official said Dhaka has not officially rejected the proposal to swap the soldier with the unverified boatpeople.
Dhaka has categorically demanded of the Myanmar authority for the unconditional return of the BGB soldier and has no reason to negotiate the proposal to swap the boatpeople, the official said.
The migrant crisis drew international criticism of Myanmar over its ethnic cleansing in Arakan state, but the Naypyidaw government reacted saying that the boatpeople were Bangladesh national, not Rohingya Muslims from their country.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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