Joint initiatives underway with neighbours to prevent drug smuggling: PM

Publish: 5:21 PM, February 13, 2020 | Update: 5:21:PM, February 13, 2020

SANGSAD BHABAN, – Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina today told Parliament that joint measures were being taken with neighbouring countries to stop smuggling of drugs into the country as part of the ongoing anti-narcotics campaign.

“We are taking measures in consultation with neighbouring countries to find out the points through which drugs enter into Bangladesh,” she said while replying to a supplementary question on drug smuggling during the premier’s question-answer session.

Responding to the question from treasury bench lawmaker Didarul Alam of Chattogram-4 constituency, Sheikh Hasina said her government was carrying out both “preventive and punitive” actions against narcotics, considering it as a menace as dangerous as terrorism and militancy.

“We are giving equal importance to narcotics and terrorism and militancy, taking both preventive and punitive measures to root out the menaces from
society,” the premier said.

In an apparent reference to the stern anti-narcotics campaign she said “appropriate measures” were being taken against people involved in smuggling,
selling and purchasing drugs alongside creating enhanced social awareness against drug abuse.

The premier said in the recent past the drug abuse appeared as a great concern while the ongoing security crackdown largely contained the trend.

The premier called upon all particularly the lawmakers alongside parents, guardians and teachers to keep children around them so they could not be
exposed to the clutches of drug as it cripple them both physically and mentally and simultaneously affect their families.

She also asked the guardians and parents to stay alert about the movements of their children and know whom they were mixing with.

Sheikh Hasina also stressed the need for engaging the youths and children in sports and cultural activities as part of the government’s move to keep
them (young generation) away from drugs, terrorism and militancy.

Highlighting her government’s measures to keep meritorious students away from militancy while replying to a starred question from the treasury bench lawmaker Didarul Alam, the premier said initiatives have been taken to infuse religious value, morality and honesty in students alongside inspiring them to engage themselves in exercise of science and culture.

She continued that her government has formed a three-member monitoring committee with the UGC (University Grant Commission) Chairman as the head, to ensure that no university is engaged in militant activities. Besides, anti- militant festoons and banners are being distributed in all educational institutions to ensure spontaneous participation of the students in anti- militant activities.

The premier said that they have already instructed the UGC to take measures in installing fulltime digital security system at classrooms, dormitories and campuses of the public universities to monitor the movement of the students.

She also said that the capacity of law enforcement agencies have been enhanced in terms of containing militancy by imparting them appropriate
training alongside introducing the emergency service “999” as they (law enforcers) are now getting instant information relating to militancy through
the service.

The premier said students, who remain absent from their educational institutions for more than 10 days without any valid reason are now being
identified and actions are being taken for suspicious movements.

Responding to another supplementary question from Syed Najibul Basher Maijbhandari, MP, of Tarikat Federation about the measures to stop creating division among the Islamic scholars, the premier said that the Allah is the ultimate judge to say who are “good Muslims” and who are “bad Muslims”.

She added that her government does not allow creating militancy in the name of Islam as it is the religion of peace. Sheikh Hasina denied the proposal of introducing five percent quota for English medium students in BUET and Dhaka University while replying to another supplementary question from Chapainawabganj-3 constituency lawmaker Harunur Rashid of BNP. Harun made the proposal for stopping the brain-drain.

She continued it is a natural trend that students go abroad for higher education. She said, adding students are now returning home after securing
higher education abroad and engaging themselves in various activities within the country.

In responding to another supplementary question from opposition lawmaker Mujibul Haque from Jatiya Party about stopping evening courses in public universities, the premier said her government will take necessary measures in doing so and opined that no law is required to be enacted to this end.

Responding to another starred question from treasury bench lawmaker of Chattogram-11 constituency M. Abdul Latif, the prime minister said her
government has taken various programmes for the development of rural areas aimed at reducing disparity between villages and towns.

“We are committed to reach modern urban facilities to every village under the slogan ‘My Village, My Home’,” she said. In this context, the premier said that her government has built village street network connecting each Upazila Sadar, district Sadar and divisional Sadar with the villages to reach every modern city amenities such as – education and treatment to the villages to ensure balanced development of the country.