Senior BNP leaders on Thursday urged the country’s all democratic forces to get united to ‘restore democracy’ in the country for resisting the emergence of militancy.
Speaking at a discussion, they also said their party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman will return home from London when democracy will be restored in the county.
BNP arranged the programme at the Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh marking the 7th anniversary of the release of Tarique Rahman from prison.
Tarique, the eldest son of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman and its current chairperson Khaleda Zia, was arrested on March 7, 2007 during the then army-backed interim regime and freed from jail on bail on September 3, 2008. He left for London for treatment eight days later and has been staying there since then.
“The emergence of militancy is inevitable in a country which is under a one-party and unilateral rule, and the only means to resist it is to make all democratic forces united,” said BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed.
He further said, “It’ll be very tough for BNP to restore democracy in the country alone through a movement. There’s no BNP leader who is not facing a case and not going to court. So, all the democratic forces should be united to bring democracy back.”
The veteran politician observed that it’s now the biggest challenge of the nation to restore democracy in Bangladesh.
He also said the democratic forces must gain the confidence of people that they are on the movement only to restore democracy not to go to power to convince people to take to the streets.
The BNP leader also hoped that an acceptable and impartial election will be held very soon in the country. ”Holding free, fair and credible polls is just a matter of time and the return of Tarique Rahman is also a matter of time. One day democracy will be re-established in the country and he (Tarique) will also come back among us.”
He opined that the current political atmosphere is not suitable for the return of Tarique. “I think it won’t be the right move to advise him to return home under the current situation prevailing in the country.”
Describing how Tarique was tortured during interrogation in 2008, Moudud said the then military-backed government tried to cripple him forever so that he can’t carry out normal activities.
Moudud said BNP will not pursue the politics of vengeance, and make the democratic institutions, including Parliament and the Election Commission, functional, effective and vibrant if it returns to power. “We’ll introduce a new and positive political culture so that no one can again destroy democracy.”
BNP standing committee member ASM Hannan Shah said Tarique was sent abroad as part of Awami League’s plot against him as he had started making BNP stronger by organising its grass roots.
He warned that those who carried out false propaganda against the BNP senior vice chairman to malign him must be punished and accountable to people at the right time.
The BNP leader asked the party men to strengthen their organisational activities to restore democracy through a movement for ensuring a safe homecoming of Tarique.
Another BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said Tarique has been in London now as BNP has failed to foil the conspiracy hatched by Awami League during BNP’s rule.
He said BNP has to realise its demand for a fresh election through a strong movement as Awami League will not give any election willingly fearing its certain debacle.
Chaired BNP party vice chairman Shah Moazzem Hossain, the programme was addressed, among others, by BNP vice chairmen Selima Rahman, Hafizuddin Ahmed, chairperson’s adviser Shamsuzzaman Dudu, journalist Mahfuzullah and ex-pro VC of Dhaka University AFM Yusuf Haider.