New Delhi, Mar 1 (PTI) Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday called for promotion of peace and harmony across nations and stressed the need for inculcating a mindset of respect towards others.
At an event at the Vivekananda International Foundation in Delhi, he was also asked about the Adani power deal with Bangladesh, but he refused to comment on the issue.
Speaking at a seminar on promoting a culture of peace for shared prosperity in the South Asia region, Momen said Bangladesh promotes religious harmony.
“We have been promoting cultural peace across nations… If we inculcate a mindset of respect for others irrespective of religion, colour, we can hope to have sustainable peace across nations,” the minister said. Momen called for an end to violence, war and terror in regions and nations, and said if there is peace there will not be millions of refugees like the Rohingyas, who are being provided shelter by Bangladesh.
“Our action is aligned with our stance by offering refuge to 2.1 million Rohingyas who were targets of ethnic cleansing in their own country and persecuted in a way unparalleled,” he said. Momen said Bangladesh has the core value of secularism enshrined in its constitution, and the country believes in communal harmony. “Thanks to our constitution, caste or religious identity could never divert our core values of secularism,” he said. Not naming any country, the Bangladesh minister also said in this “intricately connected world” it is undesirable to dissociate from any state, but at the same time “we need to consider regional and international political discourse”. “We do not intend to single out any country, rather would like to advocate protection of human rights… I also wish to say genocide in any form is absolutely unacceptable,” he said.
The comments come a day ahead of the meeting of Foreign Ministers of G-20 countries in New Delhi, and in the backdrop of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Momen also said Bangladesh maintains a policy of zero tolerance against all forms of terrorism and violent extremism. “Bangladesh also does not allow any terrorist activity to be conducted against any country from its own soil.” Momen stressed that the destiny of neighbouring countries in South Asia are intertwined, and called for more regional cooperation.
He was also asked about the controversy surrounding the Adani power deal with Bangladesh. “Unfortunately I don’t know much about it,” he said.
Adani Power (Jharkhand) Ltd had signed a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) in 2017. The deal was finalised under the 2011 Indo-Bangla Framework Agreement for Cooperation on August 11, 2015. According to reports, Bangladesh’s state-run Power Development Board (PDB) had last month sought to revise the power purchase agreement with Adani Power Ltd as the price for the coal-generated electricity appeared too expensive. PTI AO AO NSD NSD
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