Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Momen: India boycott call political stunt, suicidal

  • Recommended keeping genocide corner at foreign ministry open to public
  • Suggested forming a parliamentary caucus
Update : 29 Mar 2024, 01:40 PM

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Dr Ak Abdul Momen has termed it a political stunt as some opposition BNP leaders call for boycott India. 

"It is irrelevant, political stunt. Connectivity is productivity. We are open and interdependent. It is suicidal," he said to those who made the call.

Dr Momen was replying to a question at his residence in Dhaka on Friday on the outcome of their first meeting held on Thursday.

In their first meeting, the standing committee made a lot of recommendations for the foreign ministry.

Those include stepping up efforts to get international recognition of the 1971 genocide. They recommended keeping the genocide corner at the foreign ministry open to the public.

They recommended opening honorary counsel in the countries where Bangladesh does not have missions.

Dr Momen, also the immediate past foreign minister, said they had recommended to see scope of opening a human rights wing in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We have advised to have a unique cell phone for the ambassadors in all Bangladesh missions so that people can get them easily when needed. 

"Ambassadors take their phone with them when their tenure ends. Then the general people face problems. For example, if someone is stuck in an airport, they need quick attention. But when they call they find the number is with the ambassador who left for another country," he said.

They also advised the foreign ministry to take steps to build relations with the stakeholders of different countries.

In this regard, he suggested forming a parliamentary caucus. 

"Before the elections, we have seen that we do not have deep relations with the stakeholders. We can form caucus with the lawmakers of different countries like the US. The lawmakers can raise their voice."

He also suggested meeting with the parliamentary standing committee when a foreign delegation comes. 

For example, he said the Bhutanese king visited Bangladesh. While the king was busy with his programs, Dr Momen said the parliamentary delegation could meet with his entourage members.

He also recommended public hearings of the new ambassadors before posting in different missions.

"Ambassadors who will be appointed.. before joining they will give narrative before the standing committee. I started it. It's going on," he said. 

At the same time, when ambassadors' tenure end, they could share with the young diplomats what kind of problems they faced during their mission. It was not mandatory. But many diplomats like it, he said.

“In the future, our wish is to start public hearing in the parliamentary standing before the appointment of the ambassadors,” he said.

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