The foreign diplomats should maintain patience as the election schedule is likely to be announced anytime soon, said state minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam.
While talking to the media at his office on Wednesday afternoon, the state minister also disclosed the government’s disapproval to the comments made by the foreign envoys over the internal issues in Bangladesh.
He returned home in the morning, wrapping up his trip to Saudi Arabia as an entourage member of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
A journalist pointed out that despite repeated reminders from the government, the envoys are moving freely and making statements over all the issues. He particularly referred to the envoys’ statements regarding the 28 October rally of BNP, even after the formal briefing by the government.
He sought to know if the government feels any pressure due to the diplomats’ activities and if the government has something more to say in this regard.
In response, Shahriar Alam said, “We never consider it as pressure, as we clarified the issue earlier.”
He, however, expressed discontent with the activities of the diplomats, saying, “We do not like the issue, it is the first point. Still, we have facilitated a cultural space for them as it has been a longstanding culture in Bangladesh. But we want them to move away from the culture. Bangladesh will take its decision on its own.”
Citing studies, the state minister said nearly 70 per cent of citizens of the countries that are critical of Bangladesh believe that their democratic structures collapsed. The same entities conducted a study here and found 70 per cent or more acceptability of prime minister Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh.
Hence, it is clear that the countries have no moral ground to criticise Bangladesh, he added.
Regarding the election, Shahriar Alam urged the diplomats to maintain patience and said, “I would like to say that the election schedule will be announced anytime soon. At this stage, it requires maintaining patience to some extent. The ambassadors are our guests. We have responsibilities towards them even if they do not abide by the Vienna Convention.”
He also urged the political leaders and activists to play a responsible role and cooperate with the government.