Tuesday, December 18, 2007

National Security Council in Bangladesh

24-member national security panel planned
Source: Gulf Times
Date: Tuesday,18 December, 2007,

By Mizan Rahman

(Finally time has come to say goodbye to democracy in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Army's supreme command council is now finalizing planned alternative to democracy - a national security council to run the government. Read this news from Gulf Times - Deshivoice).

DHAKA: The army-led caretaker government is planning to reconstitute a 24-member National Security Council (NSC) led by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed soon for taking decisions on national security, defence, anti-corruption drive and accountability in the government.

A draft on the NSC, prepared by the Law Ministry, has proposed inclusion of the chiefs of three armed forces - army, navy and air force, chiefs of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), defence forces intelligence, and National Security Intelligence (NSI) as well as civil society personalities, as its members, highly-placed sources said yesterday.
Communication adviser, law adviser, finance adviser, foreign adviser, local government adviser, energy adviser, cabinet secretary, secretary to the chief adviser's office, secretaries to the ministries of home, defence, foreign, finance, and law, principal staff officer of the armed forces division and inspector general of police will also be included as members of NSC, sources added.

Law and Information Adviser Mainul Hosein said the draft of NSC had been sent to the chief adviser's office for placing before the advisory council meeting. “The NSC should be reconstituted for taking decisions on national security and accountability in the government,” he said.

The sources said that the NSC would be given the power to take decisions, and direct the authorities concerned to take actions, and to make recommendations to the cabinet, if necessary. Earlier, Communications Adviser Major General (retd) M A Matin said that a new NSC would be formed soon for strengthening the ongoing anti-corruption drive against the corrupt suspects and accountability in the government. “If the council sits from time to time and discusses such matters, irregularities will be made public and everybody will be careful,” he said.

Former military ruler Hussein Mohammed Ershad, for the first time, formed a NSC during his regime in 1985 and NSCs were formed during the regimes of BNP in 1992 and Awami League on May 4, 1997, but the councils could not play an effective role.

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