Asks AL to seek people's apology for misdeed
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia said Awami League-led government wants to stay in power by throttling democracy in the country and is engaged in a mission to cleanse the country of opposition leaders and activists.
The government is also prolonging the current political stalemate just to cling to power. The BNP chief made these remarks while addressing a press briefing at the ballroom of Hotel Westin in the capital yesterday.
On a query, the main opposition party chief defended her party stance on the alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami, a party that is widely condemned for its anti-liberation role in 1971.
"BNP will not run according to someone's prescriptions. Keeping Jamaat-e-Islami as an ally or not is our party decision, Khaleda said.
Khaleda strongly criticized the government for the extra-judicial killings and repression on the opposition across the country by the joint forces and urged the government to stop it immediately.
Declaring the list of the abducted, injured and harassed leaders and activists of the opposition alliance to the media, she said some 300 political leaders and activists have been killed in the last one month in different parts of the country.
Terming the AL as 'a party which has taken lease to kill opposition leaders and activists,' Khaleda said, "They are sponsoring state-run terrorism to wipe out the opposition leaders and activists from the country."
The BNP chairperson said, "AL led-government is using the law enforcing agencies to kill, abduct and harass leaders and activists of the opposition alliance across the country."
Khaleda Zia, immediate-past leader of the opposition in parliament, said the government does not deserve to talk for the peoples' welfare as the ruling party has become detached from the people by arranging a voter-less parliamentary election.
When asked if it was a mistake not to take part in the last national election, she said, "We did not commit any mistake by boycotting the polls. It is the government which made a mistake."
Terming the Awami League as a "defeated political force," she advised the ruling party to seek people's apology for what "they have done."
She also urged the government to agree to hold the next election soon under a neutral government to defuse the ongoing political crisis in the country.
BNP Acting General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Standing Committee member Dr RA Gani, Dr Khandaker Mossarraf Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, MK Anwar, ASM Hannan Shah, Sarwary Begum, Barrister Zamir Uddin Sircar, Dr Abdul Moin Khan, Mirza Abbas and other senior leaders of 19-party alliance were also present at the briefing.
The last press briefing of BNP was held on January 15, in which BNP chairperson had announced a rally at Sahrawardy Udyan on January 20 and a countrywide agitation programme wearing black badges on January 29. But the party could not arrange the agitation programme as it could not obtain necessary permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.