As the next national election is drawing nearer, two major political parties — ruling Awami League and BNP — have become busy working to win support of influential countries.
The AL and its arch rival BNP are maintaining contacts with different countries of the East and West worlds ahead of the next parliamentary polls likely to be held in December this year, insiders said.Awami League continues with its efforts to intensify connections with the country’s development partners China and India while BNP, which has remained outside parliament, is trying to improve relations with the USA, the UK and European Union.
Since assumption of office in 2009, AL president and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put in efforts to maintain good relations with different influential countries, including India, China, Russia and Japan.
The AL has taken a policy to develop party-to-party contacts in the neighbouring countries to create ‘psychological’ pressure on the opposition parties ahead of the polls, party insiders say.
As part of its plan, AL policymakers have already visited different countries, including China and India, and held meetings with top leaders of these countries to have their support in favour of the party.
The Chinese government already invited a 19-member AL delegation to visit the country ahead of the next election, party sources said.
Highlighting the party’s foreign policy ‘friendship with all and malice to none’, AL international affairs secretary Shammi Ahmed told daily sun that “We want to develop relations with all.She also said they have got an invitation from the Chinese government to visit the country.
“We’re yet to finalise the date for visiting the country. We’ll sit with our party president and discuss the matter after her return from New York,” the Al leader said.
Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to be in New York today to attend the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
She is expected hold meetings with international leaders on the sidelines of the UNGA session.
Both China and India play a significant role in Bangladesh’s politics from behind the scenes.
China has become a development partner of the country. It has invested billions of dollars in various sectors while India had assisted Bangladesh in achieving its independence.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi recently inaugurated some joint venture projects.
Sheikh Hasina sought India’s continuous support for Bangladesh’s development while Modi termed a ‘family’ the relations between the two countries.
“Geographically we are neighboring countries. But from our way of thinking and values we share, we are family and helping each other is part of our family values,” Modi said.
BNP has also been lobbying hard to draw the attention of international quarters to compel the government to hold the next national polls under a neutral administration.
As part of its initiative, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir recently held a meeting with UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča.
Mirza Fakhrul briefed him on the country’s internal politics and requested him to take a move to send a UN representative to mediate in resolving the political impasse.
Before the January 5, 2014 general elections, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco visited Bangladesh and held a series of meetings with the leaders of the AL and BNP to end the stand off over the polls.
A central AL leader told daily sun that their party wants to come to power for the third consecutive term to continue the country’s ongoing pace of development.“So, it is natural that their party will try to develop relations with all the parties across the globe,” he said.
AL insiders say the next election of the country will be crucial for the ruling party as the BNP-led alliance is likely to contest the polls.
The party-to-party contact may help the party develop strong bonds among the leaders worldwide, they say.