‘Not minus two but plus three’

He said no new conspiracy aimed at removing the chiefs of the two major political parties would be successful now.

“Some of the people are saying that another 1/11-like situation may happen (in the country). But I would say that this will not come.”

The eminent lawyer was speaking at a discussion organised by the Mukto Chinta Forum, a rights organisation, at the Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.

“The two leaders and we all have an idea and experience about the 1/11 government. We don’t want its repetition. It caused harm and didn’t bring about any benefit.”

“An attempt was made to execute the political blueprint of ‘Minus Two’ formula, but it failed. ‘Minus Two’ can never take place. Now addition of one more can make it plus three.” However, the eminent lawyer didn’t clarify what he meant by “plus three”.

The military-backed interim regime designed the political blueprint of the ‘minus two’ formula five years back to exile Hasina and Khaleda from politics. Recently, outlawed militant outfits like the Hizb-ut Tahrir and a new organisation have raised demands for side-lining the two leading ladies from politics.

In her address to the nation on state-owned radio and television on Friday evening marking the completion of her four years in office, Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina said that the planners of the highly controversial “minus-two” formula were still active in the country and they were trying to raise their heads from time to time.

The senior BNP leaders have been saying that still there were conspiracies in the country to bring back the 1/11-like situation by snatching people’s rights to vote.

Rafiqul Haque, who expressed solidarity with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s mass hunger strike on the premises of Institution of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB) in the capital last year, said: “It’s not right that the BNP wants 1/11. The problems will be resolved if the election is held in a fair way.

“It doesn’t matter whether the election is held under caretaker government or interim government. The countrymen want an acceptable and fair election.”

The veteran lawyer of the Supreme Court who defended both Hasina and Khaleda in court during the last caretaker government urged the two leaders to hold dialogue for resolving the ongoing political crisis.

Urging the journalists to bring the two leaders together for talks, he said: “They need open discussion so that all the people of the country can give their opinion which can be done through any television channel or at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre.”

“I believe that both the leaders want the country to prosper. I would like to suggest that they meet each other and find out a system that becomes acceptable to everyone.


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