Government Policy

No scope to see Shaheenbagh incident as security threat: Foreign Secretary

Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen has said the situation that US Ambassador Peter Haas faced cannot 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 the Dhaka-Washington relations of long 50 years.


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.


As Haas arrived there though, he was intercepted and confronted by members of another organisation – Maayer Kanna (Mother’s Tears) – a platform of family members of victims of earlier regimes, specifically the administration of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.


Read: DUTA slams US Ambassador for ‘contradictory’ behaviour


The US Ambassador met Foreign Minister Momen on emergency basis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs right after the incident.


The Foreign Secretary said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen tried to explain the situation on Wednesday.


“I told him that it is our responsibility to ensure security for you and your people. I asked him (Haas) whether anybody attacked him or on his people. He replied, no,” the foreign minister told reporters, adding that they will provide the Ambassador additional security if he wants.


The Ambassador’s security escort asked him to leave the place as soon as possible fearing blockade by people there.


“Due to security reasons he left quickly. He is very unhappy with that incident. He is a bit worried,” Momen said.


Read: Families of armed forces officers executed during Zia regime seek US ambassador’s intervention for justice


The US Ambassador and embassy staff concluded the meeting early on December 14 due to “security concerns”.


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


Source: United News of Bangladesh