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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

World

'Admire young people expressing their concerns'
PTI
Dhaka, February 16, 2013
First Published: 21:06 IST(16/2/2013)
Last Updated: 21:43 IST(16/2/2013)

As Dhaka remained jammed for nearly two weeks because of protests by students and youth who are demanding capital punishment for the "traitors" of the 1971 Liberation War, external affairs minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday expressed admiration for the protestors, saying such acts revived faith in democracy.

"It is wonderful to see young people expressing themselves and their dreams...It revives the strongest faith in democracy. The young people in all countries, I not only respect them but applaud them" for expressing their concerns.

He made the remarks when asked for a reaction to the street protests going for 12 days here.

While not directly commenting on the issues being raised by the protesters, Khurshid, who is here on an visit, said "on terrorism and extremism, we have received valuable cooperation and assistance from Bangladesh".

Bangladesh foreign minister Dipu Moni, who was present at the joint press conference with Khurshid, said her country was "born with the ideals of secularism" as it had suffered genocide by religious extremists in the past.

"People from all walks of life, all ages are participating in these protests. Our government will definitely consider the people's demands," she said, adding that the Election Commission of Bangladesh also had a role to play in the matter.

The protestors are also demanding banning of the Jamaat-e-Islami, apart from death penalty to five persons convicted and sentenced to life for committing crimes and siding with the West Pakistani forces during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

The demonstrators are staging demonstrations chanting slogans beating drums, singing 1971 Liberation War time songs and eliminating candles for the past 12 days while their campaign spread across Bangladesh with youngsters staging identical sit-ins in major cities and towns.


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