Envoys of six countries including the United States and the United Kingdom will no more get additional security in Bangladesh.
Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen confirmed Prothom Alo about the decision of the government on Monday.
“We’ve told them that we are maintaining austerity by various ways due to the economic situation. For that reason, we can no longer continue to provide additional security we currently provide to the envoys,” the foreign minister told Prothom Alo.
Additional security was maintained for envoys for six countries in special circumstances, the foreign minister said adding, “Situation is quiet better now. So, providing additional security to diplomats gives a wrong message on the country’s law and order situation and security to the foreigners. We don’t want to give a wrong message anymore.”
Since six countries were also enjoying special security facility, other countries were also asking for it, he said adding, “We find that it is not possible to continue providing the special security facility anymore. Besides, no additional security measure were given to our diplomats in various countries.”
When asked, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Khandakar Golam Faruque told Prothom Alo, “From now on, Ansar members instead of policemen would provide security to the diplomats of six-seven countries including the US and UK while they travel from one place to another. This measure has been taken due to shortage of policemen.”
He, however, said police would continue to be deployed for security of diplomatic zone.
Meanwhile, the public relations officer of the foreign ministry issued a press release regarding the matter tonight.
In reply to a question from a certain journalist, foreign minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, said,"No foreign diplomats would be given additional security escort spending taxpayers' money as the law and order situation in the country is quite good. Moreover, Bangladeshi diplomats don’t get any additional security in any country. However, foreign diplomats can hire escorts at their own cost. In that case they can hire escort of Ansar battalion.”