The visiting Indian Army officer, Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain at a discussion meeting on Tuesday in the capital said that he does not see the presence of IS in Bangladesh, or even in India and Pakistan 'in a big way.'
Describing happenings in other parts of the world about ongoing debate on the presence of IS, Gen Hasnain said it is happening here in Bangladesh, partially in India and Pakistan, let us work together and try to find out the path to combat it as it may be initial 'feelers' on how it can be done here and if it can be done at all.
He was delivering a lecture on 'Counter Terrorism Challenges in South Asia' at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS).
BIISS Chairman Ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmad chaired the lecture while its Director General Maj Gen (Retd) AKM Abdur Rahman also spoke.
"I wouldn't say the Islamic States (IS) is in Bangladesh any big way, it's not even in India. I would say not even in Pakistan in a big way," he said while responding to a question after delivering his lecture on 'Counter Terrorism Challenges in South Asia.'
He said physically Bangladesh is less vulnerable and it is the gateway to South East Asia. That is an important aspect that one needs to keep in mind.
He said that the South Asian leaders should think about three major things to address - leadership, finance and ideology for controlling terrorism. He said if these three things are countered well, terrorism can be controlled.
"Ideology is very important. That's what our concern today is in South Asia. It's a major concern in Bangladesh and India. This is your concern. This is our concern, too. We're all worried about all aspects of radicalization," said Hasnain, whose father was also a General Officer of the Indian Army.
Branding himself as a patriotic, professional and diehard crazy Indian army officer, he said Bangladesh is the "least-threatened" state in South Asia and is less vulnerable compared to Pakistan.
Gen Hasnain, an extensively experienced officer in handling turbulent situations across the spectrum of conflict, laid emphasis on strengthening the anti-terror group of SAARC, eradicating safe havens for terror groups, preventing use of territory and international cooperation apart from following international norms, human rights to counter terror.
He said issues like sub-national or minority alienation, faith in extremist ideology, ignorance, lack of education, employment opportunities, proxy cross-border interest, safe havens for drugs, illicit trade of arms and other factors facilitate terrorism.
Gen Hasnain, whose track record in the United Nations operations in Mozambique and Rwanda won him international acclaim and the first of his decorations, the Vishisht Seva Medal, also said flawed ideas of victory lead to faulty conflict stabilization leading to persistence of conflict rather than conflict termination.