US awaits BD’s response to offer: Uniting country needs all- Biswal

US awaits BD’s response to offer: Uniting country needs all- Biswal

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Dhaka – The United States has said it will be waiting to hear from Bangladesh government over the offer they made on how they better counter terrorism and violent extremism by enhancing capabilities of law enforcement agencies, UNB news agency has reported.
“We’ve provided some options and we’ll wait to hear from the government of Bangladesh whether they would like to take that,” said senior diplomat Nisha Desai Biswal before wrapping up her Dhaka visit.Talking to private television channel Channel24, the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia said the kind of partnership they are looking for with Bangladesh will also “yield very important result” to address the challenges of terrorism and extremism.
Biswal said they offered support for enhancing the capabilities of law enforcement agencies so that they are able to respond to these kinds of challenges and attacks.
Though the offer has not been made public in detail Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Monday that they would respond to it after assessing the situation.
Nisha Desai Biswal also referred to past collaboration with Bangladesh in different areas in different ways.
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for unity, Biswal said unifying the country will require the firm participation of all elements of society, including its civil society, media and all parties.
Responding to a question on investment, the US diplomat said Bangladesh represents very important opportunity and it has tremendous potential to become one of the major economies in the world, especially in the Asia Pacific Region.
“Recent attacks and efforts of terrorists groups are certainly causes of concern,” she said adding that she believes that the international community and business community will stand beside Bangladesh, and will continue to pursue business opportunities in Bangladesh.
Asked how Bangladesh and the US can keep its youth force out of terrorists activities, Biswal said educational institutions, society, guardians and religious institutes have a role to play in this regard.
Earlier, Biswal described her just concluded Dhaka visit as an ‘important’ one as she discussed security cooperation with Bangladesh leadership in a very broad way.
“Concluding an important visit to Bangladesh. I conveyed support & solidarity of the United States to stand with Bangladesh in combating terrorism,” Biswal tweeted after concluding her engagements in Dhaka.
In her five separate tweets, the US diplomat said she discussed with Bangladesh government ‘specific ways’ US can support law enforcement and security forces in investigating and responding to terror attacks.
Before leaving Dhaka, she also said this (terrorism) is the challenge for all people in the world. “The world will also be there with Bangladesh.”
India, which will be equally affected if there is any instability in Bangladesh, has also conveyed a ‘clear message’ to Bangladesh leadership that it will provide ‘full support’ to Bangladesh in its anti-terrorism drive, an Indian diplomat told UNB on Tuesday.
Referring to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s letter to her Bangladesh counterpart AH Mahmood Ali, the diplomat said India stressed the necessity of adopting ‘zero tolerance policy and a comprehensive approach’ in fighting terrorism at all levels.
The Indian Foreign Minister also said India stands ‘firmly’ with Bangladesh and will work ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the government of Bangladesh against terrorism and protect societies of both countries from the threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror.
During her stay in Dhaka, Biswal had a meeting with Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the residence of US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat and put forward their views on security situation in Bangladesh.
During her visit, she also met other members of diplomatic community and business leaders who are ‘concerned’ but committed to standing with Bangladesh.
“I am so proud & honored to work w @US Amb Bangladesh Bernicat and the dedicated team @usembassydhaka who are committed to this partnership,” she tweeted.
She mentioned that she made a solemn visit to the site of Holey Artisan Bakery on Monday to pay respects and honour the victims of this heinous attack.
Biswal also had a breakfast meeting with editors on Tuesday morning, said a diplomatic source.
She arrived here on Sunday morning to discuss security issues with Bangladesh after the deadliest terrorist attack on a Dhaka café and left Dhaka for Colombo, Sri Lanka at 12:05pm on Tuesday.
Before leaving Dhaka, Biswal met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her foreign and security advisers, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque.
In her all meetings, Biswal offered US expertise and technical support to strengthen Bangladesh’s counterterrorism efforts but Bangladesh is yet to accept any offer as it wants to make an assessment whether it needs any such support from the US, said a foreign ministry official.
Biswal last visited Dhaka on May 5 and 6 this year after the brutal murder of USAID staff Xulhaz Mannan in Dhaka on April 25.
Meanwhile, 22 people, including nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian national and two policemen were killed inside and outside the café during the attack on July 1.
Later on the morning of on July 2, six people along with five attackers were also killed during a commando operation. Thirteen of the hostages were rescued alive in the operation.
On Friday afternoon, blood-soaked young man Shawon who was detained from outside the Holey Artisan Bakery during the hostage standoff died at a city hospital.

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