The prime minister is probably irritated with the US sanctions, said opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday.

The BNP leader also said the prime minister launched into a tirade after so many days of the US sanctions. She is probably irked with the matter.

Mirza Fakhrul said this in response to questions during a media conference at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office in the city on Monday night.

Earlier in the afternoon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed a press conference on her visit to the US, UK and Japan. In response to a question there the prime minister said Bangladesh will not import anything from the countries that will impose sanctions.

Newspersons asked Mirza Fakhrul about the remark of the prime minister. To this Mirza Fakhrul said, “I also want to ask why she launched into a tirade so many days after the sanctions? She knows the best.”

The BNP senior leader further said, “Because of the sanctions just a few days ago Bangladesh did not allow a Russian vessel to dock here, instead sent it back. We almost all know what Bangladesh imports from the US and the volume of those imports. So it’s easy for us to understand the reason why she (prime minister) said that. Probably she is irritated. But we don’t really know the reason of her irritation.”

Another newsperson asked him about the reason of the government’s decision not to provide police protocol to the ambassadors of the US and UK in Bangladesh. In response Mirza Fakhrul said, “No one but she (prime minister) can tell the reason of her anger. Only she could answer this properly. But it is clear - she is very irritated and angry. And, I think, probably feeling a bit insecure.”

The newspersons also asked whether these things would become problematic for bilateral relations. Mirza Fakhrul said, “I don’t want to make any remark about this right now as I don’t know the details. I hope the relations will not deteriorate for the sake of the people of Bangladesh.”

The BNP secretary general also talked about the prime minister’s visit to Japan, the US and UK. He said he does not think anything special was achieved in this visit.

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said some instruments were signed with Japan. The reason of the visit to the US was to address a seminar there on 50 years’ partnership between Bangladesh and the World Bank and the visit to the UK was to attend the coronation of the new king.

“She wants to give this message to the nation that there is no alternative leader here. She went on the visits this time with that in mind. She wants to give this message that the visit was completely successful. But as far we could know from the local and international media is that the result of this visit is almost zero.”

Responding to a question on the forex reserve crisis in the country, the BNP secretary general said those who import daily necessities are not being able to import the items due to the dollar crunch. The main reason of this is that the amount of reserve has fallen so low that it is not being possible to pay now. The crisis will intensify in a few days when the money of Padma Bridge will have to repay.

He said it will require Tk 150 billion from the next year to repay for the construction of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Where will the money come from? Those who are aware of the situation of Bangladesh know that currently Bangladesh is in an acute economic crisis. And, the amount of reserve has dropped so low that emergence of a critical situation is just a matter of time.

Earlier, in afternoon, Mirza Fakhrul chaired a meeting to finalise the programmes of 42nd death anniversary of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman. The party’s standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, and Selima Rahman, vice chairman AZM Zahid Hossain, Chairperson Parishad member Amanullah Aman, Abdus Salam, Abdul Hye Shikder, education affairs secretary ABM Obaidul Islam, publicity secretary Shahid Uddin Chowdhury, and professor AFM Yusuf Haider were present in the meeting.

Six sub-committees were constituted to observe the anniversary of his martyrdom.