US-Bangladesh counter terrorism plan floated

Dhaka, Aug 1 (bdnews24.com)

Dhaka and Washington have joined hands to train at least 20,000 people to counter terrorism, says a US report.

The people, out of them approximately 10,000 imams, received training in programmes in the field of democracy and governance, gender equality, health, nutrition, family planning, HIV/AIDS, employment generation and disaster management.

This was disclosed in the State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism 2011, released on July 31.

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The report revealed that the total number of worldwide attacks in 2011 was more than 10,000 in 70 countries, resulting in more than 12,500 deaths, a drop of 12 per cent from 2010.

According to the report, over 75 percent of the world’s attacks and deaths occurred in South Asia and the Near East. The majority of attacks occurred in just three countries – Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, which together accounted for 85 per cent of attacks in these regions and almost 64 per cent of attacks worldwide.

Bangladesh

The report praised Bangladesh for its strong commitment as the government policy made it difficult for terrorists to operate in Bangladesh, says the US report.

“The government’s ongoing counterterrorism efforts have made it more difficult for transnational terrorists to operate from Bangladeshi territory.”

The report also underlined that Bangladesh and India improved and expanded their bilateral counterterrorism cooperation.

Leaders of influence

The Ministry of Religious Affairs, Islamic Foundation, and USAID cooperated on four-year Leaders of Influence (LOI) project in Bangladesh to enhance the capacity of religious and secular leaders to contribute to the national development and democratic reform efforts.

The programme, ended in 2011, was aimed to preserve and promote values of democracy, tolerance, diversity, social harmony and understanding in the Bangladeshi society.

The USAID and the US embassy in Dhaka, in cooperation with the Home Ministry, successfully continued to implement the Community Policing Initiative, which was designed to improve police-civilian relations and reduce the appeal of extremist groups.

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