Counter-terrorism is the govt’s top priority: Shafique

Date: 2 August 2010

Dhaka, July 29 ( – Law, justice and parliamentary affairs minister Shafique Ahmed has said that the current government has made the eradication of all forms of extremism and terrorism from the country its top priority.

The minister was speaking as the chief guest at a workshop titled ‘Combating Terrorism in Bangladesh: Developing a National Counter-Terrorism Strategy,’ held at the Dhaka Westin Hotel on Thursday morning.

Ahmed also claimed that Bangladesh’s achievement in combating terrorism has gained admiration from other countries, and urged the civil and military forces to work together to reduce terrorism.

Highlighting the contribution of the military in various emergencies, including natural calamities, the minister said that their contribution cannot be disregarded and that “military forces and security agencies have been playing an active role in the country’s development since its birth.”

Referring to the Appellate Division’s verdict with regard to the fifth amendment to the constitution, Shafique Ahmed said “the constitution that was put in place after the liberation war had provisions to ensure human rights and secularism.”

He alleged that repeated unconstitutional power grabs have “bloodied the constitution and destroyed secularism” but that the “the court verdict has reinstated it.”

US ambassador to Bangladesh, James F. Moriarty, who was present as a special guest, said that the country had shown remarkable improvement in the establishment of democracy and reducing terrorism.

Moriarty also urged law enforcers to be vigilant so as not to violate human rights during anti-terrorism operations.

The president of the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Farooq Sobhan, inaugurated the workshop.