US drops B'desh from 'watch list' on religious freedom | world | Hindustan Times
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US drops B'desh from 'watch list' on religious freedom

A US Congressional panel has dropped Bangladesh from its 'watch list' of countries deemed to violate religious freedom of minorities, saying the present government is "more favourably disposed towards" protecting rights, a move welcomed by Dhaka.

world Updated: May 05, 2009 16:09 IST

A US Congressional panel has dropped Bangladesh from its 'watch list' of countries deemed to violate religious freedom of minorities, saying the present government is "more favourably disposed towards" protecting rights, a move welcomed by Dhaka.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), that had placed Bangladesh on its watch list from 2005-2008, removed the country from its current list after the installation of the Awami League government.

The panel, that published its annual report earlier this week, said minority rights in Bangladesh were now better respected as the ruling Awami League was "more favourably disposed towards minority rights protection".

Welcoming the move, Bangladesh said the government is "pledge bound" to protect religious rights of minorities.

"We appreciate the move. The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is pledge bound to protect rights of all the citizens irrespective of their religious faiths and ethnicity," Prime Minister's press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told PTI.

He added that the decision of the Congressional panel was a vindication of the new government's determination to protect minorities.