Kidnapped Brac worker
We share the concern of our compatriots over the unfortunate incident of abduction in Afghanistan of a Bangladeshi development worker named Nurul Islam from his Brac office premises. Brac has been working in Afghanistan on micro-financing projects since 2002, so that its efficacy and credibility as an institution are well established facts in that country. Earlier, a Brac employee was shot dead while riding a motor bike.
Such incidents are as tragic as they are inexplicable given the highly successful track record of the NGO on a humanitarian mission in a war-torn country that includes development programmes like building schools and clinics. Brac is working for the good of the Afghan people who do realise that they are beneficiaries of the projects extensively undertaken by the NGO. Brac is a pioneer in terms of our international NGO presence. That Brac has been doing the work that entailed some risk speaks volumes about its and its workers' commitment.
Brac and our foreign ministry have taken up the matter with the Afghan government with utmost seriousness. The Afghan police have already arrested three men calling them criminals and adding they are not linked to Taliban insurgents. Nurul Islam is supposed to have been whisked away across to Pakistan from where he would be brought back in a few days. While floating an appeal to the abductors to immediately release him all manner of combing operation must proceed apace to get him back unharmed as the culprits are ferreted out.
A scooping investigation must be carried out into the incident in order to determine the level of risk involved in carrying out NGO work in Afghanistan. Whether it is a matter of extortion or ransom seeking or is linked to the broader issue of security of foreign nationals, the need for spreading a security umbrella over expatriate organisations and their workers is only reinforced for appropriate collective response of the international community.