The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party slammed the ruling Awami League general secretary, Obaidul Quader, on Wednesday for his claim over underhand negotiations with the United States and India regarding the upcoming national election.
‘What do they mean by saying that an underhand understanding has been reached? Has Delhi told you there is no need for an election? Make it clear,’ BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said this while addressing a professionals’ gathering at the Institute of Engineers in Dhaka.
Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajebi Parishad and Gontantrik Peshajebii Oikya Parishad organised the convention demanding the resignation of the AL government.
Quader on Tuesday claimed that India had facilitated an underhand negotiation between the United States and the Bangladesh government over visa restrictions on Bangladeshis and possible sanctions on the country.
‘Where are visa restrictions? Where are the sanctions? Everything has now been compromised through underhand negotiations….Delhi is there, and America needs Delhi. We [AL] are with Delhi and it is also with us. We have no enmity with anyone, and all are our friends,’ said Quader.
Fakhrul said that the Awami League had become so shameless that its general secretary was talking about reaching an underhand deal.
‘We know how much they are lobbying just to take photos. The people of the country do not trust the AL. The people of the democratic world have also said that they do not trust them anymore,’ Fakhrul said.
He said that AL was delivering such remarks out of fear.
He said that the world had made it clear that there were no elections in 2014 and 2018.
This time too, there can be no election under them—no election under them will ever be legal, he said.
He said that the BNP had been peacefully protesting for almost two years when 22 of its leaders and activists were killed.
‘Still, our movement is peaceful, but we did not say the movement would always be peaceful with all the barriers,’ he added.
About the party chairperson, Khaleda Zia, Fakhrul said that she had made it clear that there could not be any compromise on the restoration of democracy.
While others left the country during the army-backed caretaker regime in 2007 and 2008, the ‘uncompromising leader Khaleda Zia’ did not, he said.
He said that the law minister was misinterpreting the law.
He said that Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure empowered the government to waive the sentence and send anyone abroad. The government can make that arrangement, he said.
He said that preventing Khaleda Zia from receiving treatment abroad proved that their main goal was to kill Khaleda Zia, and thus the government was not allowing her to go abroad.
He said, like in the past, the government had made arrangements for one-sided elections.
But this time the people and the world community have become their biggest obstacle, he said, adding that now the whole nation has become united as the nation wants to see a fair and participatory election.
Chaired by Bangladesh Sammilito Peshajebi Parishad president AZM Zahid Hossain and moderated by its member secretary Quader Gani Chowdhury, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD president ASM Abdur Rab and Nagrik Oikya president Mahmudur Rahman Manna also spoke at the programme, among others.