12:00 AM, February 04, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 04, 2013

Khaleda Zia's op-ed in Washington Times

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Esam Sohail, Kansas, USA

I read with disappointment the op-ed penned by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in the Washington Times. The disappointment is not due to the content of the article, since much of it is accurate, notwithstanding the usual verbal theatrics launched in response by the party in power. Rather, I am saddened because the former premier missed a great opportunity to tell us how she would govern differently if she replaced the incumbent at the next polls.
The fact is that the opposition leader's accusations can easily be cast at her own multiple tenures in power: centralized absolutism, using the police, lower judiciary, and civil servants as appendages of the ruling party, throttling dissent with police brutality, and a culture of unaccountable vandalism led by 'student' and 'youth' wings of the ruling party.
I have read the op-ed a few times and failed to find a single commitment from the former prime minister about how she will, in concrete terms, be different from the current prime minister when it comes to developing a structural democratic culture in Bangladesh. Seems to be simply a matter of sour grapes, which I am certain, will come from the other side if elections result in a change of government in the near future.

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