The statement the US embassy issued on Tuesday night is enough to explain the visit of the US assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu to Bangladesh, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.
The BNP leader came up with this remark on Wednesday afternoon at a press conference at the party’s chairperson office in the capital’s Gulshan.
When the newsmen asked for his observation over Donald Lu’s visit, he said, "I think the statement the US embassy issued yesterday (Tuesday night) is enough to explain this [Lu’s visit to Bangladesh]."
"They (the government) claimed the United States has changed its stance [over Bangladesh] and will lift the sanction [slapped on RAB] soon. They are trying to instill an idea among the people that the government of Bangladesh wants to hold an election democratically," said Mirza Fakhrul.
The secretary general said, "The Awami League (AL) government, an isolated party from the people, has been telling lies. As soon as the US assistant secretary, Doland Lu, left the country, [they] started telling lies. It is a matter of sorrow and shame for us. The US embassy protested against their remark."
When asked, he said they believe it is not possible to establish democracy, counting on the foreign powers. The people will wake up against the government and will restore democracy.
All foreign powers -- USA, Russia, China and India -- undoubtedly think about their own geopolitical situation when they interact, said the secretary general.
"We have noticed that the United States has firmly expressed their commitment to democracy. They have made their comments over holding fair, credible and participatory elections in the country," observed Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Earlier, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal claimed Donald Lu indicated that the sanctions would be removed once Bangladesh continues working to improve the human rights situation surrounding the RAB, but gave no time frame.
"We think and hope the sanctions will be removed very soon," the home minister said.
But on Tuesday night the US embassy has made it clear that US assistant secretary Donald Lu did not indicate any timeframe for revoking the sanction on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). However, he praised the authorities for reduction in extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.
"During his meetings in Dhaka, assistant secretary Lu did not indicate a timeframe for the removal of RAB sanctions," said the spokesman for the US mission in Dhaka, Jeff Ridenour, on Tuesday.