Bnp welcomes, AL cold shoulders new citizens’ platform for dialogue

Nagorik Samaj, a platform of the civil society, on Monday urged President Abdul Hamid, the guardian of the republic, to take an initiative for a dialogue to overcome the current political impasse and violent situation.
Letters signed by former Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda were sent also to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to take initiative for resolving the current political crises through a dialogue.
The letters were sent to them in the light of a proposal adopted at a roundtable discussion held at Engineers Institution, Bangladesh on February 7. The eminent citizens including former Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda and Dr Kamal Hossain, among others participated in the roundtable.A copy of the proposal titled “National Dialogue for Resolving National Crises” was also enclosed with the letter sent to the respected offices on the day.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance has welcomed the initiative taken by members of civil society to defuse the current political stalemate through a national dialogue.
The ruling Awami League, however, dismissed the initiative saying that it matters little when the country is burning under petrol bomb attack during the ongoing blockade and hartal programme of the BNP-led alliance.
In the letter sent to the President, the Nagorik Samaj, which is taking a formal shape as a citizens’ movement, urged the President to play his pivotal role to initiate dialogue between the feuding parties.
The letter urged the Prime Minister to take the initiative for holding a dialogue on behalf of the government in the light of the proposals of the Nagorik Samaj.
The letter sent to the BNP chairperson also urged her to take initiative in the light of proposal.
BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman said they welcomed the inititave of Nagorik Samaj for holding a dialogue which he said is very important to save the nation.
“I think it is a noble initiative. Dialogue is necessary as the nation is facing a deep crisis and stifling situation,” he said.
The BNP leader hoped that the President would take initiative for a dialogue using his moral authority as number one citizen of the country.
He also believed that the Premier would agree for a dialogue if the President could convince her.
Awami League’s joint general secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif questioned the authority of the Nagorik Samaj to lobby for holding a dialogue.
“Question does not arise to give any importance to their initiative since they did not come with people’s mandate,” he said.
He rather called upon the members of the civil society to request the BNP to stop hartal and blockade immediately.
“Dialogue will not bring any good thing if the BNP does not stop petrol bomb attacks and violence,” he said.
The AL leader said they could consider the matter if the BNP admits the responsibility of petrol bomb attacks.
The proposal said that the said dialogue with people from different section and professionals would help 16 crore people to get united and resolve the prevailing political impasse.
Referring to the February 7 roundtable, the civil society people expressed their concern over the prevailing political situation.
The civil society people put emphasis on the need for resolving the crises immediately to protect the people irrespective of gender, age and caste from unusual death and arson attacks by restoring a peaceful environment and normalcy.
It observed that the economic activities including export and import are in trouble while investors and buyers are taking their face away from Bangladesh due to the prevailing situation.
The civil society people identified dispute between the two major political parties responsible for the present situation and put emphasis on the need for resolving this through talks.
They suggested formation of a commission to bring proper amendment to the constitution in future for a permanent solution the crisis.
Some eminent citizens have taken the initiative to hold a national dialogue between the two main players of Bangladesh politics–Awami League and BNP amid their rigid stance.
They are working to form a committee comprising non-partisan personalities to overcome the current political crisis and violent situation thorough holding a national dialogue, according to sources.
Talking to journalists, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, convenor of Nagorik Oikya and one of the initiator of the process, said they have sent draft copies of national charter to President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.
“We have already delivered the documents by hands and their respective offices are expected to receive it,” he said.
Shamsuddin Ahmed Didar confirmed that they have received a letter signed by Dr ATM Sumsul Huda.
Personal secretary of Dr Kamal Hossain Advocate Chanchal Mahmud handed over the letter at about 6:45pm,” he said.
Didar said he came to know that the letter informed the BNP chairperson about the Nagorik Samaj initiative for a dialogue. – Staff Reporter