We notice with apprehension that there are efforts to wreck the chances of dialogue between Sheikh Hasina and Begum Zia, the possibility of which has appeared prospective after the telephone conversation between the two. Our fears stem from various comments emanating from different persons of both the parties which might put paid to the much anticipated talks between the two leaders.
In spite of everything that transpired between the two during the conversation we saw opening up of a window of opportunity. We noticed with satisfaction that none of the two had rejected the other's position outright. The PM invited Begum Zia for talks the next day and we wonder why that could not have been accepted then and there by the leader of the opposition without putting up the excuse of hartal which, we feel, lacked justification.
But be that as it may, the prospect of the two leaders meeting soon to thrash out the issue at hand is good. Given that, we find negative utterances about the dialogue coming from both sides unwarranted. This must stop. At this juncture, no one else but the two party secretaries, who are the designated link persons of the two parties, should comment on the matter. And since an invitation has already been made to the BNP, it should formally respond with specific dates. And that should take into account working out the preliminaries by Syed Ashraf and Mirza Fakhrul before the two leaders meet. That, we feel, will put a stop to all kinds of unwarranted comments and speculations.