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Do not fall into terrorists’ traps; take part in elections

26 Nov 2013

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Back-counting has started for the national elections. Elections have to be held within 90 days from October 27; in other words, poll must be over by January 24. Out of 90 days, 20 days have already passed.

 As per Constitutional provision elections must be held within this time limit. Otherwise the country’s future will become uncertain and murky. There has not been any understanding on this issue so far. The government will hold elections in accordance with revised Constitutional amendment. On the other hand, the Opposition has made it clear that it will not take part in election if the same is held under a political government. Whether the elections will be held under an all-party government or under a non-party caretaker government remains a bone of contention between the two. Both sides have adapted a rigid stand and remained adamant on this issue. Meanwhile, in course of these 20 days, the Opposition enforced 60 hour hartal in two phases and thereafter another hartal has begun. Dozens of people lost life. People are experiencing extreme difficulties and inconvenience. Jamaat is taking advantage of BNP’s intransigence on the issue. Well trained and well armed Jamaat cadres are unleashing a reign of terror through vandalizing properties, killing and arson attacks and taking full advantage of BNP-enforced hartals to implement its agenda by creating chaos and anarchy. Jamaat is doing everything possible to close the doors of understanding and agreement between the ruling party and opposition through negotiations. People have realized that Jamaat is determined to sabotage any prospects for a negotiated settlement.

 

Renetly, in an article published in the Daily News (Nov 3) brought out from Lahore, former Pakistani State Minister Ishaque Khan made scathing comments about the ongoing war crimes trial in Bangladesh as his family friend Salauddin Quader Chowdhury has been awarded death sentence by the Tribunal. He also claimed that there were lakhs of Pakistani supporters in Bangladesh. He did not spare even Bangladesh mass media for not effectively opposing war crimes trial.

 

There are many in BNP, Awami League and civil society who believe that a situation similar to 1/11 may return in the country. On this day the Army had indirectly taken reins of power following prolonged turmoil created by failure of the two main political parties Awami League and BNP to reach an understanding over instituting an acceptable and credible mechanism to hold parliamentary elections.

 

One group is tirelessly working to stall an understanding between the two main parties in order to pave the way for intervention by undemocratic forces. If BNP-Jamaat wants this situation to arise, they are making an error in judgment. Such a possibility has become very slim. Even in such a situation, the undemocratic forces will not do anything from which BNP-Jamaat may make any political gains. It is difficult to predict what will be in store for BNP or even Sheikh Hasina, should such situation arise.

 

Reaching an understanding on the issue of election is not an impossible proposition provided there is sincerity and good-will. It was this sincerity and good-will that brought Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina on the same platform in the past and it was their combined struggle that ensured overthrow of the dictatorial regime of Ershad. Now it is the absence of this sincerity and good-will that is at work  blocking the two leaders from arriving at an understanding on the issue of election.

 

Many civic body elections including city corporation elections and bye elections have been successfully conducted by the Sheikh Hasina-led government in the recent past. Nobody has questioned neutrality of the government in these elections.  BNP should respond positively to Sheikh Hasina’s call for formation of all-party poll-time government and ensure participation in the upcoming election. People of the country want to see BNP participating in democratic process in stead of joining hands with terrorists and communal forces and falling in their traps.




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