Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said Bangladesh Nationalist party (BNP) is trying to divide the nation in the name of “national unity” over the issue of Rohingya repatriation.
“You [BNP] don’t need to unite the nation as people are united spontaneously, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has adopted a strong foreign policy to repatriate Rohingyas peacefully,” Quader claimed.
He was speaking at a discussion marking the National Mourning Day, organised by Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) at its auditorium in Dhaka.
Quader, also Awami League general secretary, alleged that BNP leaders, over different issues, have been grumbling for the last two years to diplomats, with the aim of tarnishing the country’s image.
“Now, they have chosen the Rohingya issue to create a chaotic situation... In the name of national unity, they are trying to free their chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail,” said the minister.
Quader made the remarks a day after BNP had called for forging national unity among political parties and civil society members to resolve the crisis after the government’s second attempt to repatriate Rohingyas failed recently. He suspected a connection between BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and the international NGOs which are allegedly involved in conspiracy over the Rohingya issue.
After failing to gain any political interest through the anti-quota or road safety movement, they have chosen this issue, he said, referring to BNP.
Terming his party a “defender of democratic values”, Quader blamed BNP for initiating toxic politics in the country.
“You [BNP] have built a wall between us by assassinating the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu and raised this wall further through the August 21 grenade attack, though the PM sat for a dialogue with you centring the last national election,” he claimed.
He said that BNP should apologise to the nation for their brutality.
With BMA president Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin in the chair, the discussion was addressed, among others, by the platform’s former secretary general Sharfuddin Ahmed and BSMMU Pro-Vice Chancellor Shahidullah Sikder.