Two cabinet members were scheduled to attend the first day’s programmes organised at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka. Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen was invited as the chief guest at the inauguration programme while home minister Asaduzzaman Khan’s name was in the list of guests of another session.

Nurul Kabir said, “Several cabinet members of Bangladesh were supposed to join this conversation but they haven’t come. I asked a journalist of my newspaper, why haven’t they come? The journalist replied, yesterday (Sunday night) all the ministers cancelled their decision to attend the programme.”

The New Age editor further said, “The politicians of Bangladesh cannot stand questions asked criticising them. They can’t answer to many questions. If anyone asks questions about elections at midnight, they don’t have any answer to that.”

While talking about crisis in journalism, Nurul Kabir said, “It’s not possible for journalists to provide true information if they do not get a free society and state. As a result, everyone has to stand in favour of free and bold journalism, what a few South Asian media have been trying to achieve.”

In another session of the conversation, Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, professor of development studies department at Dhaka University, said autocratic governance and narrative are becoming stronger not in South Asia but also across the world.

He further said the narratives the governments around the globe have been presenting are always hiding the crisis. As a result, these countries have been facing danger during big global crises. This is a failure of political system, which we are seeing in cases of Pakistan and Sri Lanka.