Bangladesh has severly critisized Indian volte face.
They say India is lying. There is no security issue
involved as alleged by India.
The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Friday, February 4, 2005
Alliance to face AL in streets
Blames opposition for 'foiling' Saarc Summit
The BNP-led ruling alliance yesterday blamed the Awami League for
foiling the Saarc Summit and has decided to take to the streets to face
the opposition agitation.
It castigated the opposition for calling frequent hartals and 'damaging
the image' of the country.
To face the situation, the BNP will hold rallies across the country on
February 7. Then they will jointly hold grand public meetings in
different parts of the country, meeting sources said.
The coalition also decided that its component parties -- BNP,
Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP) and Islami Oikya Jote
(IOJ) -- will announce and observe their political programmes
"We have decided to observe programmes individually first and then go
for united programmes," said BNP Secretary General Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan
at a press briefing after a meeting of top leaders of the four parties.
Chaired by BNP chief and Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, the meeting deeply
regretted the postponement of the Saarc summit, and blamed the main
opposition Awami League (AL) for launching a campaign against holding
of the summit in Bangladesh and calling hartal coinciding with it.
Most of the alliance leaders attending the meeting held at the Prime
Minister's Office accused the AL of persuading the Indian leadership
into not attending the Saarc summit in Dhaka.
They expressed dissatisfaction at the Indian refusal to attend the
summit and said the Indian government apparently gave importance to a
particular political party instead of regional cooperation and
bilateral relations, according to meeting sources.
"They (AL) convinced India not to come and join the Summit," said
The meeting decided to mobilise public opinion against the AL.
The alliance leaders expressed deep shock at the killing of AL leader
and former finance minister SAMS Kibria.
Mannan Bhuiyan said the AL always opposed holding of the Saarc summit
in Dhaka and had called hartal when it was first scheduled in January
and also this time using the death of Kibria as an excuse.
The AL had also called hartal during the 7th Saarc summit in Dhaka in
April 1993, the LGRD and Coooperatives minister recalled.
Security reason shown by the Indian government for not attending the
summit in Dhaka is unacceptable, Bhuiyan said. The government had taken
unprecedented security measures and all preparations for the summit, he
Bhuiyan said the death of Kibria was an isolated incident because the
overall law and order across the country was quite normal for the last
Asked whether the postponement of the Saarc summit would have a
negative impact on Indo-Bangladesh relations, the LGRD and Cooperatives
minister said, "We want to keep our existing relations intact and
maintain friendly relations. If any misunderstanding is created, we
prefer to remove that through discussion."
The meeting was also attended by BNP leaders Dr Khandaker Mosharraf
Hossain and M Shamsul Islam, Jamaat leaders Matiur Rahman Nizami and
Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, BJP leaders Naziur Rahman Manzur and Kazi
Firoz Rashid and IOJ leaders Azizul Haq and Fazlul Haq Amini.
Meanwhile, the BNP secretary general addressing a press conference at
his residence yesterday accused the main opposition AL of 'hatching
conspiracy' for postponement of the Saarc summit.
"It is very unfortunate that the Indian government refused to join the
summit at the last moment showing the reasons of security in Bangladesh
and political situation in Nepal," Bhuiyan said, adding, "The political
crisis in Nepal is an internal matter and the security situation in
Bangladesh is quite good."
"The killing of Kibria is an isolated incident and such an incident
does not prove that the government is unable to ensure security for a
few guests," he said.
He said the AL is trying to reap political benefit from Kibria's
killing. "Actually there was no political issue in the hand of
opposition party and that's why they are deliberately trying to
deteriorate the country's law and order," he added.
BNP senior Joint Secretary Tarique Rahman, Dhaka City Corporation Mayor
Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Housing and Public Works Minister Mirza Abbas
and Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdullah-al-Noman were also
present at the press conference.