No alliance with BNP if Jamaat stays with it
Says Dr Kamal Hossain
Published : Wednesday, 12 September, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 108
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain on Tuesday said his party would not forge alliance with BNP if Jamaat-e-Islami remains a part of it.
"I did not go with Jamaat in my entire life, and won't shift my position at this last stage of my life," the veteran politician said at a press conference at the National Press Club on Tuesday.
He, however, said there is a progress in the initiative for forging a greater unity to ensure a free, fair and inclusive national election in the country.
If the party (BNP) wants to forge an alliance cutting its ties with Jamaat, Kamal said they will decide upon the issue and discuss with other stake holders.
"As far as I know Jamaat is no longer a political party as its registration (with the Election Commission) has been cancelled. We assume BNP will form alliance with us leaving Jamaat," he added.
"I and our party won't do it [forging unity with BNP if Jamaat remains in it], but I don't know what other parties will do," Dr Kamal said.
Replying to a question who will lead the alliance if there is a greater unity, he said, "We've forged the alliance together. The leadership should be in a joint manner. I believe in joint leadership."
The Gono Forum chief also said they have got permission for holding a public rally at Gulistan's Mohanagar Natya Mancha on September 22 as part of their efforts to forge the national unity.
Replying to a question about the shifting of the makeshift court to old Dhaka central jail from Alia Madrasa ground to hold trial in Zia Charitable Trust graft case, he said the decision was not taken as per the constitution.
"I think they (BNP) will challenge the decision and it's up to the court to make a decision. If I go to the court, I'll say it's not constitutional."
Dr Kamal, also a noted jurist, said holding the trial of an "opposition leader" in jail is not the right action.
About the ruling party leaders' remarks on holding the trial of Col Taher in jail, he said it was held during the military rule 41 years back.
"It's not logical to shift the court to jail citing such an instance. I think, the constitution has been violated with it."
About BNP's demand for Khaleda's treatment in any specialized hospital, Dr Kamal said there is a long tradition of allowing sick prisoners receiving treatment in any hospital.
Mentioning that he has heard Khaleda Zia's health condition deteriorated, he said a sick person should not suffer this way.
"The government shouldn't forget we live in a civilized society."
Voicing his deep concern over the 'wholesale' arrest of people by plain-clothed police, Dr Kamal alleged that the government is not running the country as per the constitution.
"Power must be exercised following the rules and abiding by the Constitution. We're now worried we're going beyond the constitutional rule."
He urged that the government to remain alert so that people are not harassed unlawfully and the law enforcers do not abuse power.
The Gono Forum president criticized the government for arresting and taking on remand those students who waged movements for quota reform and safe roads.
Referring to the arrest of several hundred BNP leaders and activists from their Monday's human-chain program, he said the government should refrain from such acts to ensure a normal situation in the country ahead of the general election.