Govt wants free, fair, participatory national elections: PM Hasina
12:00 AM, September 26, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:01 AM, September 26, 2018

PM: Govt wants inclusive polls

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government wants the next general election to be held in a free and fair manner with the participation of all political parties.

She made the remarks when UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jeremy Hunt met her at the bilateral meeting room of the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

After the meeting, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters.

Hunt said the UK was looking forward to a free, fair and participatory election in Bangladesh.

In response, Hasina said, “We also want all [political parties] to take part in the next election and it'll be free and fair. Our government is working constantly for this.”

Turning to the Rohingya issue, the UK secretary of foreign affairs wanted to know from the PM about the repatriation process of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas.

In reply, Hasina said Bangladesh signed agreements with Myanmar to this end. “Myanmar has agreed to take back their nationals from Bangladesh, but they don't act accordingly.”

The PM said the Rohingyas would return to their homeland “if we can create a conducive environment and give them assurance of their safe    and dignified repatriation to their homeland. But such thing is not happening.” 

In this regard, Hasina sought support of all, including the UK, to shift the Rohingyas to an island, Bhashan Char, in Bangladesh.

Hunt expressed his desire to visit Bangladesh soon.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and PM's Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman were present on the occasion.

Earlier, Hasina attended a high-level event on Global Call to Action on World Drug Problem organised by the Permanent Mission of the United States.

US President Donald Trump, among other world leaders, was present, said the foreign secretary.

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