The controversy over the visit of US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas to the residence of ‘Mayer Dak’ coordinator will not harm the relationship between Bangladesh and the United States, said Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday.
“Of course, the United States is our development partner. They also have a great role in our development journey,” said the minister while talking to reporters at the secretariat.
“I would urge the US Ambassador to stay alert about any wrong advice or attempt to make him biased like this,” he said.
Those who advised Haas to visit the residence of the coordinator of Mayer Dak made him controversial, he said.
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“I don't know who advised him to go to the residence yesterday. Whoever gave him the advice did not give the right advice,” the minister added.
“But I think the decision was up to the envoy and he also needed to focus on our special days”, he said.
The minister said it would have been great if Haas had visited Martyred Intellectuals’ Memorial, marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day on Wednesday.
Ambassador Haas visited the residence of Sanjida Islam, coordinator of Mayer Dak, a platform 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, reportedly a victim of enforced disappearance that took place in 2013.
The minister said the Foreign Affairs Ministry was not aware of the matter and Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has already said so.
“Mayer Dak was formed by those who are reported to have been made victims of enforced disappearance. Many of them are being found again. Many are accused involving murder cases, many are accused of drug cases and many are fugitive convicts,” he said.
BNP keeps telling them that their leaders and activists have been victims of enforced disappearance, he added.
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Following the envoy’s visit to Mayer Dak coordinator’s residence, around 50 people from another organisation ‘Mayer Kanna’ a platform of family members of the victims of enforced disappearance during Gen Ziaur Rahman’s regime, went there to give a memorandum to the US Ambassador, said the minister.
But those who were in charge of security of the US envoy did not let ‘Mayer Kanna’ to do that due to his security concern.
“I think if the US Ambassador received their memorandum and had a talk with them, then he will not face the bitter criticism now," said the information minister said.