BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday said the government will have to ac-cept the demands of the opposition parties if it wants to avoid violence and conflict ahead of the next general election.
Speaking at a press briefing at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office after a meeting with the liaison committee of ‘Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote’, he also appreciated President Abdul Hamid for his comment that development in absence of democracy can never be universal.
“If the government wants to avoid conflict and move forward, then the first thing it needs to do is to meet the demands of the opposition parties. In other words, it has to resign, paving the way for talks,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul said they used their all weapons to resolve the political crisis, but it is not possible to have a so-lution without a good intention of the government.
He said their party joined the 2018 election keeping trust in the promises of the government, but they faced dire consequences.
The BNP leader said their party has long been urging the government to step down and take steps for talks on the polls-time caretaker government to ensure a credible national election in the country.
Replying to a question, he said their party will not engage in any dialogue with the government until it announces to quit power. “There is no question of believing them (govt). First, they have to announce to resign and then take steps for a dialogue.”
As a reporter drew his attention to President Abdul Hamid’s memorial speech in the parliament marking the 50th anniversary of the national legislature, Fakhrul said, “We respect the President. But constitu-tionally he does not have much power. Our past experience was not pleasant.”
He recalled that their party led by Khaleda Zia, when she was the leader of the opposition, went to the President and gave him some specific proposals on the formation of the Election Commission. “But un-fortunately he could not implement any of our proposals. He does not have that power.”
Fakhrul said the President just read out a traditionally written speech by the government in the parlia-ment.
“However, I say that there’s one thing that I like personally as he said the development without democ-racy is not universal. That’s good. Another thing he said is that democracy can never be practised through conflict and vengeance. These words are good,” he observed.
Fakhrul bemoaned that the Awami League government is trying to destroy democracy instead of prac-tising it.
Asked whether there is any scope to consolidate democracy in Bangladesh through talks avoiding vio-lence, he said it completely depends on the government.
The BNP leader said the current parliament has become completely dysfunctional, and important public issues are not discussed there. “One person is all in all there. It’s an unelected parliament.”
About the recent Bangabazar Market fire, Fakhrul said, the fire incidents are happening due to the irre-sponsibility of the government and its institutions. “The government institutions are not fit for serving people. They indulge in irregularities as they don’t have accountability to people.”
Fariduzzaman Farhad, the coordinator of the ‘Jatiyatabadi Samamona Jote’, said they discussed with the BNP leaders the current political situation and the strategy to intensify the ongoing simultaneous move-ment to realise their 10-point demand including the resignation of the government and holding the next polls under a non-party neutral administration.
He said they will carry out their movement until the fall of the current Awami League government for ensuring a credible national election in the country under a non-party neutral administration.
BNP standing committee members Nazrul Islam Khan and Selima Rahman were also present at the meeting.