Dhaka – Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday said local outfits, including Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammat-ul-Mujahidin (JMB) were involved in the recent killings in Bangladesh and regretted that BNP was unfortunately giving shelter and support to them, unb news agency reported.
Referring to the initial investigations, he said it appeared that Jamaat-e-Islami, JMB, Ansar al-Islam, Ansarullah Bangla Team, Harkatul-Jihad-al-Islam (Huji-B), Hijbut-Tahrir Bangladesh and newly appeared Al Mujahid were involved in the killings.The Foreign Minister came up with the view while briefing the European Union (EU) envoys at a state guesthouse in the city on the actions taken and progress achieved by the government in maintaining law and order and in ensuring public safety in the aftermath of recent killings in the country.
Ambassador Pierre Mayaudon led the EU envoys. State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam was present at the briefing and participated in the interaction.
The Foreign Minister recalled the European Parliament resolution of January 16, 2014 saying, “…believes that in the interest of Bangladesh’s future, parties having a democratic reputation need to develop a culture of mutual respect; urges the BNP to unequivocally distance itself from Jamaat- e-Islami and Hefazat-e-Islam;”
He said he was disappointed that BNP had not dissociated itself from those parties, according to the Foreign Ministry here.
Tracing its history, Ali said in 1971 Jammat and its various killing outfits, including Al Badar, Razakar and Al- Shams had collaborated with Pakistan Army of Occupation in Bangladesh.
He also said statement made by Pakistan Advisor for Foreign Affairs to the effect that Bangladesh was conducting the trials for war crimes violating the tripartite agreement among Bangladesh, India and Pakistan was baseless since the agreement only referred to 195 prisoners of war who were taken into custody for heinous crimes including crime against humanity.
Mahmood Ali underscored the presence of vibrant media stating that during the tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, 30 TV channels were given permission to operate and the space for democratic discussions and the strengthening of civil society have taken place like never before.
A press release issued by the EU Del in Dhaka says:
Heads of Mission of the European Union resident in Bangladesh called Sunday on the Honourable Foreign Minister, H.E. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali MP.
The Heads of Missions shared with the Hon’ Foreign Minister their concerns regarding the situation in Bangladesh in relation with the multiplication of security incidents.
They highlighted the recent barbaric attacks and growing numbers of innocent victims, including bloggers, religious minorities, human rights activists, law enforcement officers and foreigners.
The Heads of Mission submitted that these attacks constitute an unprecedented threat to human rights and freedom of expression and belief. These could undermine the international reputation of Bangladesh as an open and tolerant society and the stability and prosperity of the country.
They urged the Government to break this cycle of violence by bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensure the protection of all citizens at risk.
The EU Heads of Mission recalled the EU principled opposition to the death penalty in all cases and under any circumstances.
The EU Heads of Mission equally supported that law enforcement operations should be pursued alongside a broader engagement towards countering violent extremism.
Finally, the Heads of Mission expressed their conviction that an effective and comprehensive response to militancy includes promoting democratic accountability, freedom of expression, vibrant media, tolerance and the empowerment of civil society.
They offered to strengthen their partnership and cooperation with Bangladesh to combat terrorism of which Europe is also a target. – News Desk