Dhaka, Sunday, April 24, 2005
US envoy concerned at attack on Ahmadiyas
The US ambassador in Dhaka, Harry K Thomas, on Friday expressed his concern over the atrocities on the members of Ahmadiya community by religious bigots in Satkhira.
The US envoy paid a surprise visit to the Ahmadiya headquarters at Bakhshi Bazar in the capital city and extended his sympathy to the leaders of the community.
In a 45-minute close-door meeting with the central leaders of the Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat the envoy was apprised of the situation at village Jogendranagar in Shyamnagar of Satkhira. Harry assured the Ahmadiya leaders that the United States always stands for the democratic and constitutional rights of every individual.
The envoy told the leaders that the US mission was closely observing the incidents across the country and during a meeting on Thursday he discussed the matter with policymakers of the government.
Expressing his concern over the safety and security of the Ahmadiyas across the country, Harry, in his stylish Bangla accent told the reporters that he was extremely sorry over the activities of some fundamentalist groups.
He hoped that the government, the opposition political parties and the members of civil society would be sincere enough to protect the rights of Ahmadiya community.
Meer Mubashsher Ali, nayeb national ameer of Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat, said the envoy wanted to know about the latest condition of the Ahmadiya members and assured that he would put up the issue in a meeting of the US State Department during his upcoming visit to his country.
When asked whether they are expecting a third party intervention in the crisis, Mubashsher said, ‘The Ahmdiyas do not believe in lodging complaint to foreigners.’
‘We did not invite him, he suddenly visited us,’ he said. ‘Unfortunately the people of thousand miles apart are coming to express sympathy but we never found anyone from our government, who are our guardians constitutionally, beside us,’ said Abdul Awwal, chief Ahmadiya missionary in Bangladesh.
Awwal said the Ahmadiya people are very thankful to the Satkhira district administration and the police administration. ‘They did their best against the severe pressure of upper echelon,’ he added.