Inu cautions Khaleda against shunning dialogue
With the next general polls a few months away, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia would miss the "train of election and democracy" if she missed the "train of dialogue".
“Think, whether you will board the train of dialogue or the train of Jamaat-Hefajat-war criminals and travel to Pakistan?” he asked the opposition leader while briefing journalists at the capital's PID conference room.
He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's offer for a dialogue was still in effect. “Discussions can take place on both the proposals of the premier and her counterpart to reach consensus on formation of an election-time government.”
Although Saturday's phone conversation between the two leaders was both sweet and sour, the minister hoped that the path of dialogue is still open.
Meanwhile, Inu accused Khaleda of spreading violence in the name of hartal and trying to force her opinions on the government to get the constitution amended regarding the poll-time government.
Asked whether the election would be acceptable without participation of the BNP, the information minister said the future would speak about it but the election schedule would be announced and the vote would take place as per the constitution.
The 10th parliamentary election is due before January 24.
Inu said he was concerned about the bomb attacks, arsons and violence by BNP-Jamaat but claimed that the law enforcement agencies were tackling that with patience.
Condemning attacks on the media persons during the 60-hour hartal, which ended at 6:00pm yesterday, he urged Khaleda to shun the path of violence and join dialogue with an open mind.
Separately, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said violence and dialogue could not happen at the same time.
Talking to journalists at his office, he said the door for dialogue was open but the opposition had to come with an open mind and without any precondition.
The presidium member of the ruling Awami League also said, "Sly hunters were now trying to fish in troubled waters."