In the wake of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia being jailed in a corruption case, the United Nations has called upon all sides in Bangladesh to maintain calm and continue an inclusive democratic process.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN secretary-general, told this in response to a question about the sentence of Khaleda and subsequent political crisis in Bangladesh during a press briefing in New York on Thursday.
He said that they recently received the report concerning the arrest and the subsequent events. “We're monitoring events on the ground and we will react accordingly. We would, of course, be concerned about any reports of violence and at this point, we call on all sides to maintain calm and we expect to have a further reaction after we've evaluated the situation further.”
On the question of holding a free, fair and inclusive election under the current situation in Bangladesh, Farhan said they are monitoring the situation and stressed for continuation of the democratic process.
“Well, as I just mentioned we're just monitoring what the latest developments regarding this verdict are, and we expect that we'll say something more once we've evaluated the situation.
“It's too early to judge what impact this will have, but, yes, we do continue our call for an inclusive and democratic process in the country,” Farhan said.
Meanwhile, embassies of different countries based in Dhaka have updated their travel alerts for their citizens staying in Dhaka following the court verdict against Khaleda.
Countries, including USA, UK and Australia, have asked their citizens to be vigilant and maintain high level of security awareness at all times. However, the foreign missions have not changed the level of their advice.
On Thursday, the BNP chief was jailed for five years after she was found guilty in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.