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BNP providing wrong, misleading information to foreigners: Momen

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is providing wrong and misleading information to the foreigners about the country, alleged foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Friday.

The minister was speaking with newspersons after inaugurating 12 development projects in Sylhet Sadar.

“Our opposition party has served them with such information that Hindu population halved in the country in the last 10-12 years during Sheikh Hasina’s regime. That happened due to persecution. But in reality the number of Hindu population increased by 1 million. They (BNP) said that Christian population has been wiped out from Bangladesh. Some of them (foreigners) even believed it. Let them come and see if any persecution is taking place here, if people are dying on the street every day. They said that people are dying on the streets. It’s good that they come and see for themselves,” the minister said.

Replying to a query about the four-day visit of two Congress members of the US from Saturday, the foreign minister said, “Why you (journalists) think so much about the Congress members? Are you a US Congressman? There are 435 Congress members in the US. It is normal that they would travel around the world. It’s good that they are coming, let them see our country. They think Bangladesh is an impoverished, cyclone-prone country. They would see that this is not a poor country, rather a good one. We welcome them. It’s good news that they are coming, let them see. They think that people are dying on the streets day and night in Bangladesh.”

The foreign minister further said the US Congress members are coming to visit the Rohingya camps. The US provides assistance to Rohingyas and the Congress members are perhaps coming to see if the money is being utilised or being misused.

“Those who are coming are members of the fund approval committee. They have already cut the funds (for Rohingyas) and we told them it would create problems. Perhaps their visit would be beneficial for us. The funding might increase. Not for us, but for Rohingyas.”

Regarding the election, he said, “Elections took place in 67 countries from January to July this year. Twenty two more countries will conduct elections from August to December. But we don’t see any news on these elections. Why is this happening (discussion about election) in Bangladesh? (Because) our opposition party makes noise and complains perennially to the foreigners.”

He also alleged some expatriates also spread false propaganda against Bangladesh every day. This leads many people to think Bangladesh as a dangerous country.

The foreign minister, however, said that Bangladesh gains traction due to its geological location.

“Bangladesh is getting importance to the foreigners due to its location. The developed countries cannot put up with China’s rise. We’ve become a victim of international tussle due to our geographical position. They are involving us in their various problems. However, we will overcome it. There is nothing to worry about if Sheikh Hasina is there.”

A journalist said it is being heard that some senior police officials have built luxurious mansions abroad. The minister replied, “I don’t know about these. If they do, then you (journalists) unearth it. We don’t want anyone to siphon off money from the country. The Awami League government does not want it.”

Speaking at the event inaugurating development projects, the minister said the next general election would be a good one. Prime minister wants to show the world that Bangladesh has seen unprecedented development. The Awami League wants to serve people and the party is developing the country.

He urged people to elect Awami League once again if they don’t want “bombing and militancy” in the country.