Terming the United States' visa policy and restrictions imposed on Bangladesh as "humiliating and shameful," BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said, "The opposition political parties including BNP are not responsible for it, rather the government is solely responsible for it."
Talking to a local newspaper on Saturday, Mirza Fakhrul said, "The United States have imposed visa restrictions on Bangladesh for free and fair elections 52 years after the country's independence. Our country doesn't deserve it. But the opposition political parties including BNP are not responsible for it, rather the government is solely responsible for it."
The BNP leader observed that the Awami League government has put Bangladesh face to face with the international community. "The government has destroyed the electoral system. They have taken away the freedom of expression of people. They have been violating the human rights of people. The are arresting the opposition leaders and workers. Because of these things, different countries including the United States are taking various steps against Bangladesh."
"BNP is not worried about it, because such an undesirable situation has arisen in the country due to the government. So, it has become a matter of great concern for the government," he said.
Mentioned that the BNP considered the US steps as "positive," Mirza Fakhrul said, "The Biden administration has taken this step for ensuring democracy around the world. They have done their duty."
The US State Department started applying the new visa policy on Bangladesh through an announcement on Friday evening.
It said: "The Department of State is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on Bangladeshi individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.
"These individuals include members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.
"These persons and members of their immediate family may be found ineligible for entry into the United States.
Additional persons found to have been responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh may also be found ineligible for U.S. visas under this policy in the future.
"This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of opposition and ruling political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.
"The US actions reflect the continued commitment of the United States to supporting Bangladesh's goal of peacefully holding free and fair national elections, and to support those seeking to advance democracy globally.
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken on May 24 this year announced a new visa policy to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections.
Under this policy, the United States will restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.