The BNP is increasingly finding itself friendless in the developed, democratic world, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said. His comments came at a press conference in Saturday after BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir expressed his disappointment over the role of the US in the upcoming parliamentary election.
Their friendship with Pakistan is still strong. So right now I am not saying that they will become completely friendless,” said Quader.
“But they are losing friends in the developed, democratic world,” he added.
Recently a bill was placed in the US Congress expressing concern over radical religious extremism in Bangladesh. It called the Jamaat-e-Islami, a key ally of the BNP, and Hifazat-e Islam as theocratic extremist groups that posed a threat to democracy and religious minorities. The bill urged the Bangladeshi political parties not to assist such extremist groups.
“The US is not playing the role that they should be playing in carrying out a free, fair and acceptable election in Bangladesh,” said Fakhrul when asked about his take on the bill by journalists.
Quader reacted to that statement by saying that no-one sides with “injustice and falsehood”.
“They have complained about us to many countries. But unlike them we did not hire lobbyists by spending millions of dollars. They are not getting the desired response from the US even after spending money,” Quader said.
“They continue to act undemocratically and expect others to support them. Things cannot go on like this. Does the US listen to us? Are they under the Sheikh Hasina government? They are an entity of their own. It is up to Washington to decide which party they will side with.”
Referring to Fakhruls visit to the United Nations, Quader said, "He went to the United Nations. Why is he not getting any response after so many meetings? He has to answer that. We have nothing to say on this matter.”
Whether the Bangladesh government will take any action after a bill was passed in the US congress about Jamaat, Quader responded by saying that the governments jurisdiction has become limited after the announcement of the election schedule. With so little time left before the election, even the court might not be able to take any decision regarding the matter.
But the minister assured that “the government will act on the basis of the opinion of the countrys people, not the US”.
He also slated the BNP for allying with the Jamaat. "The relationship between the BNP and the Jamaat is absolutely based on ideology. We have formed a strategic alliance with the Jatiya Party. Theirs is not a strategic alliance. Whenever the BNP calls a rally, Jamaat stays at its heart.”
“But the concern surrounding the election has started to go away,” said Quader. “A favourable, festive environment for voting is now residing in the country.”