• Thursday, Jan 23, 2020
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Quader: US wants Bangladesh to clarify strict NGO stance

  • Published at 06:56 pm September 8th, 2019
File photo of Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader (Left) and US Ambassador Earl R. Miller (Right) Collected

'The government is currently scrutinizing the allegations against the NGOs'

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said, Washington sought an explanation from Dhaka over its strict stance against NGOs operating in Rohingya camps. 

He made the statement to the press, after US Ambassador Earl R Miller made a courtesy call on Quader at his secretariat office on Sunday.

Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, said: “We told the ambassador that our government has received some complaints regarding the activities of some of the NGOs in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.” 

“The envoy was told that the NGOs were cleared for organizing a prayer gathering for Rohingyas, instead, a political rally was held," Quader added.

“The government is currently scrutinizing the allegations against them (NGOs),” he said.

Quader further said: “Ambassador Miller has been informed of the activities of those NGOs, and the complaints against them. The US also agrees with the initiatives, Bangladesh has undertaken to repatriate the Rohingyas.”

While speaking, he added, the envoy has also been informed of the problems Bangladesh is facing due to the 1.1 million Rohingyas it has sheltered, adding that “We are facing all sorts of problems including geological, political, and social, as well as in tourism.”

Quader said: “Ambassador Miller praised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s generosity towards the Rohingyas which is very rare in the world”

“The US envoy also said the US will mount pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingyas,” said the senior cabinet minister.

Responding to queries on a meeting between BNP, and Dhaka-based foreign diplomats, including Miller, Quader said, “It’s the US embassy’s routine task.”

He added that Miller has been told that the opposition is being given plenty of space, and there are no political or administrative problems.

On the BNP’s claim that the government is not granting bail to its incarcerated chief Khaleda Zia on purpose, he said it was a “legal issue”.