Vol. 4 Num 348 Sat. May 22, 2004  
Front Page

Terrible, says Jack Straw

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw yesterday expressed grave concern over the bomb attack on British High Commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Choudhury at Shahjalal's shrine in Sylhet yesterday.

"I'm shocked at the news that Anwar Choudhury is among the injured in the bomb attack but my sympathies go to all the victims and their families," the UK Foreign Secretary told the BBC Bangla Service yesterday in his reaction to the bomb attack that left two people dead and at least 25 hurt, including the UK high commissioner.

" What's happened is terrible but it was a relief to know Anwar Choudhury's injury is not serious," Jack Straw said.

He said they thought the appointment of Anwar Choudhury being the first Muslim High Commissioner of Britain would play a vital role in strengthening the ties between Britain and Bangladesh.

Asked how UK could help Bangladesh improve law and order, the British foreign secretary said the best way to do this is imparting training to the law enforcing agencies and also providing them with necessary equipment.

Straw expressed satisfaction at the way the Bangladeshi government promptly flew the diplomat to Dhaka by a helicopter.

In reply to a question Straw said, "Like many of us, Bangladesh too has to cope with various facets of world terrorism."

He said Bangladesh is no stranger to attacks on religious places, adding that those who are excessively enthusiastic about religion often seem to be working against the religious spirit.

The British foreign secretary also stressed the importance of cooperation among different countries in combating global terrorism.