Calling upon all the political parties in Bangladesh to hold political programs peacefully, visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal on Saturday said the United States wants a strong and inclusive democracy in Bangladesh.
“We do believe Bangladesh’s strength is democracy, and for that we’re partnering with Bangladesh,” she told a press conference at American Club in the capital.
Biswal said the US always supports political dialogue and expects responsibility from all political parties to face political events with responsibly and peacefully.
Asked about the US’ latest stance on the January-5 election, she said it is the people of Bangladesh who will determine the timetable of the national polls.
About Bangladesh’s RMG sector, the US Assistant Secretary of State said the US has seen a lot of things happened in Bangladesh’s RMG sector, which is really remarkable.
“The tragedy of Rana Plaza resulted in an effort to work together…some progress has been made. About 200 trade unions have been registered… 2,000 factories have been inspected. About 200 inspectors are in the process to be hired,” she added.
“If Bangladesh can address all the challenges that would be a remarkable story of transformation…that would be a remarkable story of success.”
Biswal stressed the need for strengthening the regulatory body of Bangladesh to sustain the progress of the RMG sector.
Asked about restoration of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), Biswal said she is not involved in the GSP process.
Turning to the US-Bangladesh relations, the US leader said Bangladesh is an important partner of the United States in terms of both bilateral relationships and democracy.
She said there is a huge scope to work together on various fields like agriculture, trade and economy.
About the recent Saarc Summit, Biswal said an agreement on energy and electricity cooperation was signed by the South Asian nations in the summit to strengthen cooperation among the countries.
“We look forward to the progress in the area of regional connectivity. Right action is needed for better connectivity - people-to-people connectivity, business-to-business connectivity. And then progress will flourish.”
On cross-boundary terrorism, Biswal said the US is working together with Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to eliminate militancy from the South Asia. “We look forward to strengthening cooperation with Bangladesh in this area.”
Reply to a question, she said there is a concern over extrajudicial killings and violation of human rights, and urged the Bangladesh government to initiate a process of investigation into all the cases of criminal activities.
During her visit, Biswal met government officials, opposition leaders, trade union leaders and members of the civil society, and visited the Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training (BIPSOT) in Gazipur.
The US Assistant Secretary of State arrived in Dhaka on November 27 for a three-day visit to Bangladesh.
US wants inclusive democracy in BD