Plot was for saving war criminals | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 22, 2012

Plot was for saving war criminals

Says PM


Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina addresses a view exchange meeting with the party leaders of Noakhali district at Gono Bhaban yesterday. Photo: PMO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said gone are the days when coming to power was possible through unconstitutional means.
Exchanging views at the Gono Bhaban with leaders of Noakhali district Awami League, she asserted the recent anti-government plot unearthed by the army was meant to protect the anti-liberation forces and obstruct the ongoing war crimes trial.
At different programmes, two ministers and an opposition leader also have come up with their reaction to the putsch that, according to an army statement, has been foiled successfully.
On Thursday, at an unprecedented press conference, a military spokesman announced a group of religious fanatics, comprising mid-ranking officers and their retired colleagues, was involved in a “coup attempt” to topple the government.
The prime minister said elections are the only way to change a democratic government and any short cut to power is a thing of the past.
She and her party always believe that only the people can decide who will run the country, said Hasina, also the ruling Awami League president. The government is making stronger the Election Commission and the polls held during its tenure were free, fair and peaceful.
The premier called upon the opposition leader, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, to join parliament sessions and air grievances against the government.
“She had threatened that we wouldn't be in power after December [last year]. We can now understand what their speeches and statements really meant if we analyse those,” she said without mentioning the main opposition BNP or its chief.
Sheikh Hasina thanked the army for its timely move that, she said, had saved the security force and the nation.
Senior AL leaders including Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Syed Ashraful Islam, Obaidul Quader, Mahbubul Alam Hanif, among others, were present at the meet.
Also yesterday, talking to journalists after a programme at the city's Judicial Administration Training Institute, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said any civilian linked to the overthrow plot would face trial for sedition according to the constitutional provisions.
Another cabinet member, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, said there might have been foreign hands in the anti-government plan.
Bangladesh Army is more careful now after making the plot public for the first time, he said, adding there was no need of Indian assistance to this end.
The finance minister was talking with newsmen at Petrapole land port in India after inaugurating car pass system for vehicles involved in export-import between the neighbouring countries.
Moudud Ahmed, member of BNP Standing Committee, said his party is happy that the plot against the government has been frustrated, and it wants to uphold democracy in the country.
"We do not want to see any army coup and we won't support it as our movement is for fair elections under a caretaker government," he said during a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club.
Khandaker Ibrahim Khaled, chairman of Bangladesh Krishi Bank, said masterminds behind the plot in the army must be unmasked to secure democracy from further predicament.
Speaking at a discussion of Sammilito Samajik Andolon at Liberation War Museum, he thanked the army for disclosing the matter to the nation.
BNP HIGH-UPS MEET
A BNP Standing Committee meeting last night discussed the latest developments after the army's press conference and whether they should join the upcoming session of the House.
As per the meeting decision, the party will give its formal reaction to the army issues through a press briefing at the chairperson's Gulshan office today around 4:00pm.
Party sources, however, could not confirm if any decision was made on attending the House session that will begin Wednesday.

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