Bangladesh steadfast in zero tolerance policy to combat terrorism
Noman Sabit: The current Government of Bangladesh, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, maintains a policy of zero-tolerance towards terrorism in its all forms and manifestation-said Asaduzzaman Khan MP, the Home Minister of Bangladesh during his bilateral meetings with Gambian Interior Minister Seyaka Sonko and Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, UN Under-Secretary-General for Counterterrorism held at the UN headquarters Wednesday (August 31).
Those meetings took place on the sideline of the 3rd UN Chiefs of Police Summit (UNCOPS 2022), where Bangladesh’s Home Minister led the delegation accompanied by Inspector General of Police, Dr. Benazir Ahmed, BPM (BAR), and officials of the Public Security Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs, officials from Police Headquarters and Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations.
At the bilateral meeting with the Gambian Interior Minister, the two Ministers discussed the ongoing and future cooperation between the two countries in the field of UN Peacekeeping, repatriation of the Rohingyas, counterterrorism, disaster risk management.
The Gambian Interior Minister commended Bangladesh’s exemplary role and contribution to UN Peacekeeping. He sought support from Bangladesh in training and capacity building of the Gambian peacekeepers, particularly the Police force. He also mentioned that Gambia needs support in pre-deployment training. In response, Home Minister said that Bangladesh is ready to extend support for the capacity building of the Gambian Peacekeepers.
Supplementing Home Minister, the Inspector General of Police mentioned the contribution of Bangladesh Police to UN Peacekeeping and briefed the Gambian delegation about Bangladesh’s capacity to extend training support to the Gambia. The Home Minister also said the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) training facilities.
Home Minister thanked the Gambian delegation for supporting the Rohingya issue, particularly for filing the case in the International Court of Justice against Myanmar. He mentioned that Bangladesh has given shelter to the Rohingyas temporarily on humanitarian grounds. However, it is impossible for Bangladesh to keep the Rohingyas for a long time. It is now urgent to repatriate the Rohingyas to Myanmar. The Interior Minister praised for giving shelter to this huge population. They discussed further cooperation of the countries in expediting the repatriation of the Rohingyas. The Gambian Interior Minister also raised the issue of cooperation between Bangladesh and Gambia in counterterrorism. The Home Minister reiterated the ‘Zero Tolerance Policy” of the Prime Minister to terrorism and informed that Bangladesh would be happy to extend any support in this regard.
Citing Bangladesh’s success in disaster risk management, the Gambian delegation also sought support from Bangladesh in disaster risk management and the improvement of the condition of their prison. Both sides agreed on having bilateral visits to explore the opportunities for further cooperation between the two friendly countries.
During meeting with Under-Secretary-General (USG) for Counterterrorism, the Home Minister shared the various initiatives and policies undertaken by the Government of Bangladesh under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and sought cooperation from the office of Counter-terrorism in the areas of mutual interest in future. In return, the USG appreciated the good practices of Bangladesh to counter-terrorism and prevent violent extremism and invited Bangladesh to share their story of success in the upcoming High-level Meeting of the Heads of Counter-terrorism institutions of the Member States scheduled to take place in June 2023. Recognizing Bangladesh as an important partner of the United Nations in its efforts to counter global terrorism, the Under-Secretary-General also expressed his readiness to extend necessary cooperation in relevant fields including financing of terrorism, nuclear terrorism, capacity building and technical assistance.
Home Minister also paid a visit to the Bangabandhu Bench and Tree planted at the United Nations Garden on the occasion of the Birth Centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. During this visit, he was accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, Ambassador Muhammad Abdul Muhith and Inspector General of Bangladesh Police Dr. Benazir Ahmed.