Dialogue: Country belongs to all – PM: BNP skeptical

Mentioning that the country belongs to all, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said the trend of change they introduced should be taken forward.

She came up with the remarks in her introductory speech at the high-profile dialogue between the Awami League-led 14-praty alliance and Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikyafront, including BNP, being held at Prime Minister’s official residence Ganobhaban.

The Prime Minister said their main aim is to change the fate of people, take the country forward and ensure its overall development. “I can say we’re working for the country’s overall development and maintain democracy after a long struggle.”

“I’ll leave it to you to judge it. You’ll certainly consider how much development the country witnessed in the last nine years and 10 months. I can say Bangladesh’s general people are now having good days as their fate has changed. The trend of change we introduced is on,” she further said.Sheikh Hasina said they were working to take the fruits of independence to every doorstep.Earlier, the Prime Minister welcomed the Oikyafront delegations to Bangabhaban. “I welcome you to the Ganobhaban.”

The dialogue between the ruling and opposition alliances began at 7am in a bid to reach a consensus over holding the next general election in a fair and credible manner with the participation of all parties. Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is leading 23-member 14-party delegation while Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain 20-member Jatiya Oikyafront team in the discussion.

Through the talks with the Oikyafront, the Prime Minister opened her door of discussions over the 11th parliamentary polls before the announcement of its schedule as Bikolpo Dhara Bangladesh, Jatiya Party and some other parties and alliances are interested in dialogue with the Prime Minister.

Political analysts think the dialogue will not only determine the mode of the next general election, but also the country’s future politics. They also think the success of the talks depends on sincerity and liberal stance of both the ruling and opposition sides on their current positions.

Meanwhile, Awami League announced the names of the 14-party’s 23 delegation members through a press release signed by party office secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap. Of them, 19 leaders, including the Prime Minister, are from Awami League while four others from its alliance partners.

The other AL leaders are Obaidul Quader, Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Fazlul Karim Selim, Mohammad Nasim, Abdur Razzak, Kazi Zafar Ullah, Abdul Matin Khosru, Ramesh Chandra Sen, Advocate Anisul Huq, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Dr Dipu Moni, Jahangir Kabir Nanonk, Abdur Rahman, Abdus Sobhan Golap, Dr Hasan Mahmud and SM Rezaul Karim.

The four 14-party leaders are Samyabadi Dal leader Dilip Barua, leader of Workers Party of Bangladesh Rashed Khan Menon, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader (JSD) Hasanul Huq Inu and JSD-faction leader Moinuddin Khan Badal. On Tuesday night, Jatiya Oikyafront sent the names of its 16-member delegation, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, to Awami League for the talks. The names of the last five delegation members were added today.

The other Oikyafront delegation members are BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed, Jamiruddin Sircar, Mirza Abbas, JSD president ASM Abdur Rob, vice president Tania Rob, general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan, Nagorik Oikya’s Mahmudur Rahman Manna and SM Akarm, Gono Forum general secretary Mostafa Mohsin Montu, executive president Subrata Chowdhury, Jatiya Oiky Prokriya’s Sultan Mohammad Mansur Ahmed, ABM Mostafa Amin, Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP standing committee members Dr Abdul Moyeem Khan, Gano Forum leaders Mokabbir Khan, Jaglul Haider Afrik and AHM Shafiq Ullah.

In favour of Jatiya Oikyafront, Dr Kamal Hossain on Sunday sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seeking dialogue over the national election.In response to it, Sheikh Hasina sent a letter to Dr Kamal on Tuesday morning and invited Oikyafront leaders to join the dialogue.On October 13, BNP together with Dr Kamal Hossain-led Jatiya Oikya Prokriya, JSD and Nagorik Oikya launched the Jatiy Oikyafront to press for their seven-point demand.

The Oikyafront’s seven-point demand includes installation of a neutral interim government, dissolution of parliament, reconstitution the Election Commission, release of all the political prisoners, deployment of army and cancellation of the move to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for holding the next polls in fair and acceptable manner.

source: UNB