Dhaka reaches out to Paris
Bangladesh is deeply shocked by the series of terrorist attacks in Paris and has expressed solidarity with France in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
“Terrorists are terrorists irrespective of their colour, creed or religion and must have no place in any civilised society,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“We are together in our fight against terrorism and violent extremism."
In a message to French President Francois Hollande yesterday, she also said, "I along with the people of Bangladesh strongly condemn these acts of terror and stand in solidarity with the people and the government of France."
Expressing deepest condolences to Hollande and the people of France, Hasina added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the grieving families. May the departed souls rest in eternal peace.”
President Abdul Hamid has also strongly condemned the attacks.
In a message to the French president, he expressed his deep condolence to the victim families, saying he was praying for the departed souls.
Top leaders of different political and socio-cultural and religious organisations, including BNP chief Khaleda Zia, Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad, Islami Oikya Jote, Jamaat-e-Islami and head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community Mirza Masroor Ahmad, have denounced the attacks.
“I am surprised and shocked over the Paris terror attack,” said Khaleda in a statement signed by Asaduzzaman Ripon, spokesperson for the BNP.
She said she was also concerned and saddened over the killings. “I do hope the perpetrators will be brought to book.”
Raushan Ershad echoed Khaleda in another statement.
Ambassador of France to Bangladesh Sophie Aubert yesterday said France will not succumb to any terror spread by “obscurantist and barbaric enemies of civilisation”.
“France has been struck in its heart, but France is strong, and will not succumb to terror,” she said in a brief statement.
The ambassador added: “We all are in mourning after the carnage that occurred in Paris on the evening of November 13. In these days of sorrow, I thank Bangladesh and all friends of France for their expressions of solidarity.”
Bangladesh nationals, living in the areas of Paris where the series of terrorist attacks were carried out yesterday, are reportedly safe and unhurt.
Foreign ministry officials in Dhaka, who are in constant contact with the Bangladesh embassy in Paris, said they had not received any report of casualty of any Bangladeshi.
Contacted, Wahid Var Taher, a Bangladeshi social organiser, told our diplomatic correspondent over the phone: “Usually, Bangladeshis don't not live in the areas where the multiple terror attacks have taken place.”
He said during a phone conversation yesterday morning, Bangladesh Ambassador in Paris M Shahidul Islam requested him to keep in touch with the embassy as well as the Bangladeshis living in France.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh embassy has opened a hotline (+33146519033) to receive calls regarding the Paris incident, said a foreign ministry press release.
Two numbers -- +33 6 51 36 02 22 (TM Reza) and +33614497095 (Wahid Var Taher) -- could also be contacted for more information, it said.
PM'S FRANCE VISIT
Despite the attacks, the schedule of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's upcoming visit to Paris for joining “Leaders' Forum”, to be hosted by the Unesco, on November 16-17 is likely to remain unchanged.
Contacted, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam told The Daily Star, “Prime minister's visit is on and she will join the programme if it not cancelled by the Unesco.”
On Monday, the Unesco will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of its constitution. Hasina is scheduled to leave Dhaka that morning.