12:00 AM, February 02, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 02, 2013

Editorial

Open invitation for political intervention

Khaleda Zia's comments are unacceptable

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BNP chief, Kaleda Zia's article published in the Washington Times took us by surprise. To think that a country's former prime minister holding the office twice and the present opposition leader can ask for intervention from a foreign power on any issue is unheard of. It is little wonder that the ruling party MPs in parliament were up in arms in their condemnation of what has been stated.
One may easily ask what Khaleda Zia's reaction would have been had she been the prime minister and Sheikh Hasina, as leader of the opposition, had written a similar piece in a foreign newspaper. We question Khaleda Zia's wisdom of action in asking for foreign governments to get involved in the internal affairs of our country. This is totally unacceptable and we register our protest in strongest of terms.
The leader of the opposition can and is expected to highlight the failures of the government. She may also, in rare instances, take her case to foreign media. Where we really part ways with her is her open invitation to the US government that it steps up pressure on an elected government to reinstate the caretaker system of government. Whatever may be the circumstances of the doing away with the caretaker system, it is highly objectionable when a person of Khaleda Zia's stature seeks foreign assistance to undermine an elected government.
We understand why the BNP chief may feel frustrated. It is a fact, and we have written against it, that the present AL government has been very high handed and repressive in their dealings with the opposition. But to correct all the wrongs of the government, Begum Zia must appeal to the people of Bangladesh and not any foreign government.
In a democracy, power for change is in the hands of the people. It emanates from the people and not from any outside influence a point worth remembering. Her appeal for 'change' should be to and only to the electorate. There has not been a single instance in recent history where “foreign intervention” has helped save democracy.

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