There was no lack of security: Home minister

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan
File photo

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said there had been no lack of security when US ambassador Peter Haas visited Dhaka's Shaheenbagh area recently, reports UNB.

While talking to reporters at the Secretariat, he said police personnel rushed to the spot immediately.

Earlier, foreign secretary Masud Bin Momen said the situation that US ambassador Peter Haas faced could not be seen as a "security threat".

“There is no scope to see it as a security threat,” he told reporters at the Foreign Service Academy on Thursday evening, noting that the incident will have no impact on Dhaka-Washington relations.

Ambassador Haas visited the residence of Sanjida Islam, coordinator of Mayer Dak, an organisation of the relatives of the victims of enforced disappearance, at Shaheenbagh in the city on Wednesday morning.

Sanjida is the sister of BNP leader Sajedul Islam Sumon, who was reportedly disappeared in 2013.

When Haas was there, he was approached by members of another organisation - Mayer Kanna - a platform of family members of victims of earlier regimes, specifically the administration of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.

The US ambassador met foreign minister Momen on an emergency basis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs right after the incident.

The fsreign Secretary said foreign minister AK Abdul Momen tried to explain the situation.

The US side said they have raised their “concerns” about this matter at the “highest levels” of the Bangladesh government.

Monitoring Myanmar mobile network at Rohingya camps

UNB adds: Home minister Asaduzzaman today said the government has been monitoring the use of Myanmar mobile network in Rohingya refugee camps and had formed a committee to discourage it.

“The committee will soon find a solution and make arrangements so that Rohingyas can use Bangladeshi network,” he said to media after attending the sixth meeting of the national committee on coordination, management and law and order of forcefully displaced Myanmar citizens at the Secretariat on Sunday.

“We have discussed in detail about the arrangement to let Rohingya refugees enter our network. The Bangladesh Army has almost completed building a security fence, patrol road, and watch tower around the refugee camp. Ninety-five to 99 percent of the work is already complete,” he said.

He said according to the recent report, 65 per cent of Rohingya population has been brought under birth control campaign.

The government is giving its all-out effort for Rohingya repatriation and hopefully a solution will be reached soon, said Asaduzzaman.

When asked how many Rohingyas the US wants to take from Bangladesh, the minister said they are taking the Rohingyas by providing visas themselves.

“Three years ago the United Nations representative for the Netherlands had shown interest in taking Rohingyas to me but I got to know that the country only took seven of them and Australia took 24. The number is quite poor and I don’t want to bring people’s attention to that,” he said.

However, the US informed Bangladesh in detail about how many Rohingyas they want to take and how.