Dhaka protests US Secretary of State’s remarks

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DHAKA, Jan 13, 2021 (BSS) – Dhaka today strongly rejected US
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s recent statement mentioning
Bangladesh as a place where the terrorist group al-Qaida carried out
attacks, falsely apprehending similar terrorist attacks in future.

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

The ministry said that such irresponsible comment by a senior leader
is very “unfortunate and unacceptable”.

The statement said Bangladesh considers that the US foreign
minister’s comments 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, it added.

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

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, it said.

“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,” read the statement.