Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque has said though terrorism took centre stage some 15 years ago, the country has been focusing more on a violent response than on rooting it out through preventive measures.
Shahidul made the remark at the inaugural session of a workshop styled “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in Bangladesh,” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The ministry in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) is holding the two-day workshop from March 22-23.
Mentioning that the context of origin of terrorism varies from one country to another, the secretary said: “After several fierce discussions in Washington DC, Geneva and in UNODC, we decided not to define violent extremism under a common platform. The country will define this [what is happening in Bangladesh] on its own.
“Whether it is religious or non-religious, it is the people who have to realise that violent extremism is not what will bring any positive difference in their lives. But rather, it will destroy the society and economy.”
Dr Kamal Uddin Ahmed, secretary to the Home Ministry’s public security division, and Sergey Kapinos, representative of the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, also addressed the programme.
A total of 30 participants, including representatives from different law enforcement agencies and civil society, took part in the workshop aimed at identifying and sharing the established practices and approaches to countering violent extremism in the region and beyond.