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TIB for public opinion on defence Policy:

WT24 Desk

The Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) has urged upon the government to seek public opinion on the National Defence Policy 2018 before it takes into effect, Agencies report.

The cabinet, at its weekly meeting chaired by prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday, approved in principle the draft policy.

During any national crisis and war situation, all para-military forces and law enforcement agencies will come under the operational command of the Armed Forces, the cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam later said about the policy.

The policy has dwelt on crisis-time government, national interest, defence principles, military capability and civil-military relations. On the media, the policy is said to have mentioned that conscious citizens are the best friends of the Armed Forces.

Appreciating the government move to formulate the policy, TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman, in a statement on Tuesday, said the policy can be made more inclusive by engaging the people with the process of formulation.

”People have right to know details of the policy and at the same time creating an opportunity for people’s participation in the policymaking is part of a democratic practice,” said Iftekharuzzaman.

He insisted that the policy will be more people-public if stakeholders can take part in its formulation. “Main principles of the defence policy should be transparency, accountability and public participation,” he said.

The TIB executive director also said that if the government publishes annual defence budget in detail, the people’s support towards the military will increase.

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