We hope opposition would refrain from violence: Shahriar on US visa policy
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam hoped that the opposition parties who are waging movement with a one-point demand of a caretaker government would restrain from resorting to violence as the US began enforcing the visa policy.
"We have seen that the opposition parties in the past resorted to serious levels of violence. Now we can see that the opposition party leaders are coming under the US visa policy," he said while sharing a formal reaction to Washington's visa policy announcement at his residence in the capital tonight.
Those who came under it include members of law enforcement, the ruling party, and the political opposition.
"If any of the people in the government come under the US visa policy and if that creates problems for the government functionaries, we will talk to the US government," Shahriar Alam said.
Immediately after the announcement of the visa policy, he said, Dhaka requested Washington to ensure that the policy is enforced judiciously, not arbitrarily. Those who face enforcement of the policy must be comprehensively examined, he said.
"We have nothing to lose, nothing to lose. We are not worried about it."
Asked about the opposition parties who came under US visa policy, Shahriar Alam said it is implied that BNP-Jamaat was referred to as opposition as previous discussions suggest.
Asked if the US would impose any further sanctions, Shahriar Alam said there is no reason for the US to impose any further sanctions before the next elections and the government has received assurance about it.
"Such issues have implications in the domestic politics. We requested them to refrain from such activities. They have given assurances," he said.
He said Bangladesh has already been addressing the concerns that the US has, including that of the Rab's accountability.
"We have communicated these and other areas of cooperation [with US government]," he added.
On the EU's decision not to send a full-fledged election observation team, he said Bangladesh will welcome any alternative observers from the EU.
"We are open and will welcome any other options," he said.