In an oblique reference to the death of convicted war
criminal Ghulam Azam, Food Minister Quamrul Islam has said, "BNP is now
going through a great agony. But, it is facing great difficulties to conceal
this agony. Gayebana janaza (funeral prayer in absentia) also took place in
Pakistan. But, BNP can't do anything else here. They are now in a dilemma. They
hold a great pain in hearts. Because of this, Mirza Fakhrul made inconsistent
remarks on Friday."
Quamrul was speaking at a discussion organised by
Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote in celebration of Bangabandhu's youngest son
Sheikh Russell's birthday at Shilpakala Academy auditorium in the capital on
Addressing the BNP leaders, the Food Minister said,
"We've been listening to your broken cassettes of movement over the last
four years. Our government ended its previous tenure listening the broken
cassettes of you. And, the tenure of this government will also end
"You talk about movement, but none turns up on the
street. Only one man stays inside the BNP office with kantha (an embroidered
quilt) and pillows for holding press conferences. Not a single fly or mosquito
lives in that office except him. You're claiming that people are with you. Do
you have any barometer to measure the public support?"
Regarding the hartal called by some Islamic parties for
Sunday, he said, "Khaleda Zia called the hartal through Islamic parties to
avert appearing before court. It's her old tactic not to appear before court.
In spite of it, we all have to remain cautious. We'll have to save Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina. If Sheikh Hasina remains alive, we'll remain alive.
Their target is Sheikh Hasina. Fundamentalists and militants have got united.
BNP and Jamaat are not two different parties. We'll have to be vocal against
this evil force."
Chaired by Tarana Halim, president of the organisation, the
discussion was participated by Dhaka City Awami League organising secretary
Shahe Alam Murad and actress Aruna Biswas, among others.