Dhaka protests US Secretary of State’s ‘irresponsible’ remarks

Bangladesh has ‘strongly’ protested a recent statement made by the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

Pompeo recently mentioned Bangladesh as a place where “the terrorist group al-Qaida carried out attacks”, falsely apprehending similar terrorist attacks in future, the foreign ministry said, as attention of the government has been drawn to the statement.

“Such irresponsible comment by a senior leader is very unfortunate and unacceptable.”

“Bangladesh strongly rejects this kind of baseless remarks and falsification. There is no evidence of any presence of Al-Qaida in Bangladesh,” read the statement.

“Bangladesh, under the bold leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, maintains a “Zero Tolerance” policy against all forms of terrorism and violent extremism, and has been undertaking all possible measures and actions to address the menace.

“Our track record in countering terrorism has earned us global appreciation. In line with our commitment to countering terrorism, we have become a party to all fourteen international counter-terrorism conventions and are actively involved with international ‘preventive’ initiatives to counter terrorism.

“Bangladesh considers that the US Secretary of State’s referring to Bangladesh as a possible location for Al-Qaida operations, is indeed unfounded and offers no evidence.

“If any such claim could be substantiated with evidence, the government of Bangladesh would be happy to take necessary measures against such activities.

“However, if such a statement is made out of speculation, Bangladesh considers it very unfortunate, specially in the context of the ever-growing bilateral ties between the two friendly countries based on shared values, peace and common goals.”