Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali on Thursday said it is necessary to monitor whether anybody is doing anything while travelling abroad that goes against the country's image and interests.
He said monitoring is not only for journalists but also for all citizens and that is in the interest of the county but mentioned that journalists will face no obstacle during their travel abroad.
The foreign minister came up with the remark when a senior journalist wanted to know about an official communication urging the foreign missions stationed in Dhaka to monitor Bangladeshi journalists travelling abroad to check their activities that might go against Bangladesh's interest and image.
"I didn't see it. I'll look into it. No journalist will face any barrier. If anybody does let me know, " said the foreign minister.
Earlier former president of Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) and current EC member Masud Karim urged the foreign ninister to withdraw the 'discriminatory' instruction conveyed to foreign missions in Dhaka tagging only the journalist community.
The foreign ministry on Wednesday conveyed the decision to heads of missions in Dhaka, a diplomatic source told UNB.
"If anybody's involvement is found against the interest and the image of the country, s/he must be identified and their such negative activities must be reported back to foreign affairs ministry immediately," the diplomat said quoting the message sent to the foreign missions.
The foreign ministry requested the heads of missions in Dhaka to take up the matter 'seriously' so that Bangladeshi journalists, whenever travelling to the respective host countries, should be monitored to unearth their activities.
The twelfth meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on foreign affairs ministry has said that any Bangladeshi journalist travelling abroad should be monitored and reports in this regard be sent back to the foreign affairs ministry if their activities are found against the country's interests.
The standing committee expressed its concern over the negative activities of Bangladeshi journalists abroad since such activities give wrong information on Bangladesh in the international arena, reads the document signed by director general of external publicity wing Md Lutfor Rahman.