Monday, 2 October, 2023

Shahriar hopes US taking good note of BNP’s threat over election

State Minister for Foreign Md. Shahriar Alam on Wednesday hoped that the United States would take note of the threats being passed by their friends in Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to obstruct elections as per the constitution.

“There of course speeches, comments and commentaries passed on by our friends in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) threatening that police officers, administration, electoral officials whoever will participate in the election will be dealt with. That’s a serious threat. I hope the US is taking good note of that,” he said.

The State Minister was responding to questions at an interaction titled “Bangladesh at the Crossroads” held at a hotel in Dhaka.

The Daily Ittefaq hosted the conversation with the state minister. The Daily Ittefaq Executive Director and Publisher Tareen Hossain delivered welcome remarks.

Shahriar Alam said demanding a caretaker government is an “illegitimate demand” as per the present constitution and also the verdict passed on by the judges.

The state minister said such demand by BNP itself goes on to qualify as an “obstruction” for free and fair election.

Responding to a question on pressure on the government, Shahriar Alam posed a counter question, “Do you really think even if someone wants to put pressure they can move Sheikh Hasina?

He said she (PM Hasina) is the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “That is her pride and that is what drives her. Please do some justice to this legacy and do not invite such weaker observations.”

Responding to a question, he said there is no reason to see new sanctions and the government is absolutely not under any pressure from anywhere.

Regarding a political question, he said free and fair election requires equal political commitments from all political parties.

Shahriar hoped that all political parties will take part in the election demonstrating their commitment.

Talking about the relations with the US, the state minister referred to what he said on Tuesday at EMK Center.

He mentioned that the friendship between Bangladesh and the United States has deepened and broadened to the length that allows them to frankly debate on the differences.

Shahriar, however, acknowledged that there are some irritants in the relations.

The long-pending repatriation of Rashed Chowdhury, a self-confessed, convicted killer of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman finding refuge in a friendly country like the USA remains a source of deep regret. “That is a source of irritation.”

When his attention was drawn regarding a reported letter by six congressmen to US President Joe Biden, the state minister said, “I don’t know whether it is true.”

He reminded that BNP has a history of using and falsifying comments of foreign friends in the past and also referred to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s article in the Washington Times seeking withdrawal of GSP facilities for Bangladesh.