Former ambassador Muhammad Zamir on Wednesday told the Daily Observer that active, pro-active forces and civil society have to come forward in aid of the government to minimize terror risk in Bangladesh.
"Surprisingly, the civil society keeps mum when militant or Islamist forces do wrong," Zamir, Awami League Advisory Council Member, said reacting to a Global Terrorism Index (GTI) that placed Bangladesh 13th among terror risk nations.
The released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said, Bangladesh was at high risk of being hit by terrorism. This annual report also shows Bangladesh scored 5.25 for 2013 which places it at 23rd among 162 countries. Bangladesh had been 57th among 162 countries in the index for 2012.
Talking to The Daily Observer, Zamir said, "Bangladesh is 23rd, which is not good news but ranking of other South Asian countries must be taken seriously and we must investigate what kind of terrorism is going on in Iraq, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan."
Zamir said that terror risk in Bangladesh, however, can be worsened due to "political instability and lack of intergroup cohesion. These may engender Bangladesh in terrorist turmoil. Social cohesions can minimize the threat of terrorism significantly."
The former ambassador told the Daily Observer, "The report published by IEP is important because the arrest of the recent JMB militants who allegedly masterminded Burdwan blast and vulnerable political environment in Bangladesh."
"However statistics of 2013 does not represent the regular scenario of Bangladesh, it was caused by BNP-Jamaat alliances agitations were responsible for the rise of the death risk in hands of terrorists during the last two/three years," he added.
Zamir praised strong government measures to tackle terrorism that helped to reduce such deaths in 2014.
Zamir also emphasized to groom Wahabi Islamic people about the 'Moderate Sunni theology' that opposes radicalism and extremism.
He also stressed the need for enhanced technological support to face cyber crimes through the Facebook and other social media.
Zamir blamed militancy by Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party for placing Bangladesh high on the GTI index. "The sudden rise of terrorist risk to Bangladesh was due to widespread violence they perpetrated in 2013 trying to thwart war crimes trials and foil elections held to the 10th parliament," Zamir added.