Dhaka will take initiative to combat terror: new foreign minister

January 7th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Jan 7 (IANS) Bangladesh’s newly-appointed foreign minister Dipu Moni has said Dhaka will take the initiative to form a Joint Task Force on terrorism in consultation with other South Asian nations.”Terrorism (has) turned out to be a matter of worldwide concern,” said Dipu Moni after she took office, Star Online said.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s personal physician, Moni is a newcomer to the government and has studied medical science and law.

Bangladesh would discuss with neighbouring countries to work out effective steps to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Convening of a Task Force on Terrorism was pledged in the Awami League’s manifesto before the Dec 29 poll that brought a nine-party front led by Sheikh Hasina to power.

“We will take effective steps in consultation with our neighbouring countries against it. Because we want to establish peace and stability in the entire region,” said Moni, who is the country’s first woman foreign minister.

On the re-drawing of maritime borders with India and Myanmar, she said the matter would be settled through negotiations with the neighbouring countries.

Bangladesh, sandwiched between India and Myanmar, was yet to delineate its maritime boundary in the Bay of Bengal.

The issue has gained importance as all three want to explore hydrocarbons in the Bay.

On the trial of those who collaborated with the erstwhile East Pakistan regime to kill unarmed civilians, Dipu Moni said war criminals could be tried under the law of the land as well as international law.

“We’ll take decision after examining pros and cons in this regard,” she added.

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