Is govt staying in power at the 'mercy' of India?, Fakhrul asks

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir speaks at a discussion organised to mark 42 founding anniversary of Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebok on Friday.Photo: Collected

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has demanded an explanation of the foreign minister's recent statement on seeking India's backing to keep PM Sheikh Hasina in power.

Fakhrul asked, "Is the Awami League government in power at the "mercy" of India?"

"Ministers from a rally of Awami League in Dhaka issued various threats and used terrorist language. When you're issuing so many threats, then why does your foreign minister seek India's help to sustain your government and your prime minister?" UNB quoted Mirza Fakhrul as saying.

Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said their party wants an explanation of the foreign minister's statement. “We want to know from the government, the foreign minister and also from the Indian government what is the meaning of what the foreign minister said? Does it mean that this government is sustaining with India’s backing? People want to know the meaning of this. It's urgent.”

He also said questions have been raised about whether Bangladesh will really be an independent state or not, whether Bangladesh will really be a democratic country or not and whether the people of Bangladesh will get back their rights or not.

Since it came to power, Fakhrul said, Awami League has snatched the rights of the people of Bangladesh in a very well-planned way while the constitution has been amended annulling the provisions of the caretaker government and depriving people of their scope to vote and elect their representatives every five years.

Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal arranged the discussion at the National Press Club marking its 42nd founding anniversary.

Earlier at a Janmashtami programme in Chattogram on Thursday, foreign minister AK Abdul Momen reportedly said that he urged the Indian government to back Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina so that she can stay in power.

About the killing of five people in a girder accident in the city's Uttara area on Monday, Fakhrul said arresting the crane operator, security guard, and other staff is not enough.

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project director will have to be made accountable for the incident, he added. "No action has been taken against them so far."

The BNP leader said Obaidul Quader used to make many ‘unguarded’ comments about his political opponents, but many people die in road accidents every day as there is no discipline and rules anywhere. “There is no good governance. They (AL leaders) are only plundering from everywhere.”

He said the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet in her statement said they have found evidence of Rapid Action Battalion or RAB's involvement in human rights violations and enforced disappearances.

“We want to find the missing people immediately. We also want an impartial investigation into the incidents of human rights violations, including enforced disappearance,” the BNP leader said.

Fakhrul urged the ruling party to face BNP on the streets politically after quitting power. “You have to step down. One can talk a lot by staying in power. Quit power, then you will understand how much strength you have and how many people are on your side in the country.”

He also said Awami League has become an ‘enemy’ of the people in Bangladesh by destroying democracy.

“This government can’t be given any more time. We’re not willing to give Awami League any more time. We must forge the unity of the people and take over the streets at the same time to defeat this regime. We are moving towards that goal,” Fakhrul said.