Process on for release of Khaleda, says CA
Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday said the process is on for the release of former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and bringing her and her party to the pre-election dialogue.
He categorically said the government wholeheartedly wants all political parities, particularly the two major parties--BNP and Awami League--to participate in the next general election.
The CA noted that the chief of a major political party--indicating ex-prime minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina--was released and the government had a dialogue with her and her party.
“A press statement was issued during the temporary release of Sheikh Hasina, saying similar measures are open from government side for the release of Khaleda Zia,” he said.
The head of the caretaker government made the remarks while addressing a local-level national dialogue on democratic transition at Rabindra Kacharibari auditorium here.
The dialogue was participated by teachers, freedom fighters, businessmen, farmers, dairy farm owners, weavers, journalists, and representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and union parishads.
Education adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman moderated the dialogue broadcast live on radio and TV channels.
LGRD Adviser M Anwarul Iqbal, Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff and Communications Adviser Major Gen (retd) Ghulam Quader also attended the dialogue.
The points raised during the dialogue include ban on destructive activities by promulgating ordinance, taking measures by enacting law so that reform process continues after the exit of this caretaker government, and launching anti-corruption drive in districts and upazila levels against politicians, government officials, businessmen and so on.
Many suggested holding upzila polls before the parliamentary election while some for holding upazila and parliament elections on the same day.
The participants demanded setting up of farmers' cooperatives and separate bank for weavers, establishing livestock disease diagnostic center and construction of approach roads in dairy farm areas.
Earlier, the chief adviser had visited the Milk-Vita plant at Baghabari in the upazila.
The CA in his speech said the government wants to hold a free, fair and acceptable national election through which qualitative change in democracy will take place good governance will be established in the country.
He said the caretaker government started its journey in January 2007 with a key objective of holding a fair and credible election, and the preparations for the election are in the final stage.
In this regard, he mentioned the successful completion of voter list with photographs of over 80 million voters as well as electoral rules and regulations and code of conduct by the Election Commission.
The CA urged the people to elect honest and competent candidates in the polls so the desire of the whole nation is fulfilled and real democracy and good governance are established.
He once again assured that the government would extend all-out support to the Election Commission for ensuring an environment in which voters can exercise their franchise without fear.
The CA, whose government is pushing through sweeping reforms against the backdrop of past political crisis over the election issues, made it clear that election is a major precondition for democracy but not the only prerequisite.
“Post-election stability, sustainable democracy and good governance will have to be ensured,” he said about the motto of the polls the interim regime is preparing to hold in the changed context.
In this regard, he said the government started national dialogue to forge consensus with political parties over the objectives.
He said the government launched the dialogue with an open mind in Dhaka and outside the capital to listen to and know from people what will help and encourage the government in its efforts to achieve the goals.
On the anti-corruption drive, the CA said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been made independent and the government is providing financial and capacity-building support to the watchdog body.
He said people also have to play their role by raising their voice against corruption alongside the government efforts to deal with the corruption suspects under the law of the land.
On upazila election, he said the government has given the responsibility to the Election Commission (EC) by law to hold all elections in the country.
Referring to the Election Commission's statement, he said the EC has stated that it would not be possible to hold upazila and parliament elections on the same day.
On the question of trial of war criminals, The CA said the government has a short time and it only can create a field in this regard. He, however, urged people to keep the demand for the next government to deal with.