BNP's coalition partners mum | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 04, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 04, 2007

BNP's coalition partners mum

Most key leaders of four-party alliance yesterday declined to comment over alliance leader and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's arrest while the 14-party coalition leaders observed that BNP-Jamaat leaders with numerous corruption charges should have been arrested long before.
Many 14-party leaders also hoped that the trial process would be transparent and fair.
Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, also an accused of extortion charge, said his party is watching the situation carefully and would comment on it later. "I am going to
ask around and hopefully I will be able to talk on this issue the day after tomorrow," Mujahid told The Daily Star.
Senior assistant secretary general of Jamaat, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, did not make any comment and advised this correspondent to talk to the party's secretary general, Mujahid.
Islami Oikya Jote Chairman Fazlul Haque Amini declined to comment on Khaleda's arrest. While speaking with The Daily Star, he said, "I do not want to talk in this connection and I will not comment on this issue."
When asked, Bangladesh Jatiya Party Chairman Naziur Rahman Manzur said, "Nobody is above the law and Khaleda was arrested on specific graft charge," adding, "... it's quite natural...if there's any specific charge against anybody, he or she has to be tried."
Jatiya Party (Ershad) Chairman Anisul Islam Mahmud said, "The law will take its own course and more often than not, party leaders will have to face arrest and imprisonment...even our leader HM Ershad was imprisoned."
On the contrary, Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) president and one of the key leaders of 14-party alliance, Hasanul Haque Inu, said, " fact the people of Bangladesh had been looking forward to this should have been done earlier. Those who have been involved in corruption, plundering of national wealth and abuse of power should be brought to book and I want a fair trial."
He also said it is high time to go into action against the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami including Motiur Rahman Nizami, the war criminals and protectors of militancy who carried out bomb blasts across the country.
However, Workers' Party President Rashed Khan Menon observed that though his party has been advocating for the anti-graft campaign, the selective approach of the authorities and their attempt to blend politics with corruption might boomerang against them.
"The anti-corruption drive can create confusion among people due to the process they have been following to capture corrupt politicians," observed Menon.
Mujahidul Islam Selim, general secretary of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB), said, the people of Bangladesh want to see fair trials of all the accused. "Any type of hide-and-seek on the part of the authorities would be a blunder and to avoid confusion of any sort, the statements of the accused should be made public," Selim added.
Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain could not be reached for his comments over phone.

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