Slowly but steadily, Bangladesh has been making improvement in tackling terrorism since 2018, according to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI).
The country has moved two notches up to the 33rd position among 135 places and scored 4.909 out of 10 in the eighth edition of the index released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) – a think-tank based in Sydney, Australia – on Wednesday.
Last year, the country went six steps up to rank 31st from the 25th place in the 2018 report.
The GTI scores each country on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 represents no impact of terrorism and 10 represents the highest measurable impact of terrorism.
A higher rank with a lower score indicates lower impact of terrorism.
The index reviewed seven countries from South Asia. Bangladesh fell behind Bhutan – which ranked 135th with a score of zero in the index – but managed to stay ahead of all other South Asian neighbours.
Afghanistan, with a score of 9.592 points, remains the country with the highest impact of terrorism and the Taliban was the most deadly terrorist group. However, deaths caused by terrorism in the country declined in 2019 for the first time in three years.
It is followed by Pakistan (7th), India (8th), Sri Lanka (20th) and Nepal (27th).
Monirul Islam, additional commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and head of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, said, "Militancy in Bangladesh is very low compared to global perspectives mainly because of the government's zero tolerance policy against any kind of militant activities.
"Besides, people's awareness about terrorism coupled with law enforcers' efforts helped the country improve in the index."
He further said, "We are working on minimising it to the best."
The Global Terrorism Index is a comprehensive study that analyses the impact of terrorism for 163 countries covering 99.7% of the world's population.
It showed that globally deaths from terrorism fell for the fifth consecutive year in 2019 to 13,826, a 15% decrease from the previous year.
Moreover, the global economic impact of terrorism was $16.4 billion in 2019 – a 25% decrease from that of the previous year.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Russia and Eurasia, South America and South Asia regions – all recorded falls in deaths from terrorism by at least 20%.
Even though terrorism has fallen in most regions, it has become more widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. Seven of the 10 countries with the largest increase in terrorism last year are in this region.
Burkina Faso had the largest increase in terrorism, where deaths increased by 590% to 593. This was followed by Sri Lanka where terrorism deaths increased from one in 2018 to 266 in 2019.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is named the most peaceful country.
North America had the largest regional percentage increase in its economic impact, increasing by 44.9% compared to the previous year owing largely to an increase in far-right terrorism.
The index is based on four indicators weighted over five years. These four factors are: the number of terrorist incidents in a given year, the number of fatalities caused by terrorists in a given year, the number of injuries caused by terrorists in a given year, and total property damage caused by terrorism in a given year.