Bangladesh doesn’t lack defence capabilities, but it wants no war, says home minister

Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal holds a high-level meeting amid cross-border shelling by Myanmar

Published : 21 Sept 2022, 04:10 PM
Updated : 21 Sept 2022, 04:10 PM

Amid cross-border shelling, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said Bangladesh does not want war with Myanmar or any other country, but its military is always ready to respond to provocation.

 The home minister held a high-level meeting with the chiefs of the armed forces, Border Guard Bangladesh and Coast Guard, and top officials of the law-enforcement agencies and the foreign ministry on Wednesday after Dhaka bolstered diplomatic efforts to settle the current incursions at the border with Myanmar.

 As Myanmar forces are fighting rebels along the border, shells have landed in Bangladesh a number of times recently. Myanmar planes and helicopters also violated Bangladesh’s airspace.

 A Rohingya teenager sheltering in a strip of land between Bangladesh and Myanmar died in the explosion of a shell while a Bangladeshi man lost a leg in a landmine blast.

 Residents of the areas along the border in Bandarban said they were in panic with no improvement in the situation despite calls by Bangladesh for calm.

 The foreign ministry summoned the Myanmar ambassador to lodge protests several times. The Myanmar foreign ministry, however, blamed the rebels for the incidents.

 “This is not our issue. It’s Myanmar’s internal affairs. We don’t interfere in such issues,” Kamal said.

 He said the meeting decided to maintain Bangladesh’s policy – friendship towards all and malice towards none. “We never encourage war. We aren’t facing a war-like situation yet.”

 But Bangladesh does not lack defence capabilities, he said. “The army said they are always ready to tackle any situation and they are prepared now.”

 “We liberated our country through war. We are a nation of heroes. Our army and navy do not have any shortcomings in tackling any challenge.”

 “We are never afraid, but we never want war.”

 The home minister also said BGB tightened border security so that Myanmar nationals, including rebels, cannot cross into Bangladesh. 

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher