Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) - BNP on Wednesday announced a two-day countrywide programme demanding its Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail.
The programme includes holding of an hour-long human chain on September 10 and a two-hour long token hunger strike on September 12.
Besides, the party will stage demonstrations across the country, including the in capital, on September 8 protesting the shifting of the makeshift court on Bakshibazar Alia Madrasah premises to Old Dhaka Central Jail to hold the trial of Zia Charitable Trust graft case against Khaleda.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi announced the programmes at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office.
“We’ve brought some changes in our action programmes we announced at noon. We’re now announcing a three-day revised programme,” he said.
The BNP leader said they shifted their human chain programme to September 10 from September 8.
As per the revised programmes, he said their party leaders and activists will form human chains in all metropolitan cities and district towns from 11 am to 12 pm on September 10.
In Dhaka, Rizvi said, the human chain programme will be held in front of the Jatiya Press Club on the same day and same time.
Besides, he said, the party will observe a token hunger strike in all metropolitan cities and all district towns from 10 am 12 noon on September 12.
The BNP leader also said they have sought permission from the authorities of Mohanagar Natya Mancha and the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh to get any of the venues to hold their token hunger strike programme.
Earlier at a press conference at noon, Rizvi announced a two-day programme, including human chain on September 8 and the hunger strike on September 12.
On February 8 last, a special court sentenced Khaleda to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Khaleda, a 73-year-old former prime minister, was taken to the old central jail minutes after the verdict was delivered.
Dhaka, Sept 4 (UNB) – Jukta Front Chairman AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury on Tuesday said the Prime Minister’s remarks at her press conference on the leaders of their alliance and Gano Forum were not decent ones.
“Though the remarks deserve a reply, but it’s not necessary right now,” he said in a statement.
B Chowdhury, however, greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the part of her speech at the press conference that contained positive remarks over the alliance between Jukta Front and Gano Forum.
“We want to see the Prime Minister’s positive remarks effective ones through the government’s efforts to manifest democratic attitude in its action,” he added.
The former president urged the government to take steps for formation of an election-time neutral government, neutral Election Commission and dissolution of parliament at least two months before the polls.
The former President also called upon the government to release all the political prisoners and not to obstruct any political meeting, rally and campaign. “We hope no attempt will be made to thwart our efforts to forge a greater unity among the democratic forces.”
B Chowdhury, also the president of Bikolpo Dhara Bangladesh, suggested the government to deploy the armed forces (with magistracy power) for total 40 days--from 30 days before the election to 10 days after the polls--to maintain law and order for the sake of a fair election.
Dhaka, Sept 4 (UNB) - BNP on Tuesday alleged that the government is conspiring to create a communal division in the country to fish in troubled waters.
“Obaidul Quader (AL general secretary) recently said a communal plot is on in the name of national unity, and the situation will be horrible if BNP comes to power. It indicates a plot has been launched by the government to create a communal division,” said party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he further said, “The ruling party is trying to create a chaos in society by destroying the communal harmony to fish in troubled waters.”
The BNP leader said when the communal unity and harmony are very strong in society, the Awami League general secretary suddenly came up with such a comment in a planned way to push people to the path of communal division. “We think the government is trying to make a communal provocation to destroy social stability in Bangladesh.”
Rizvi said the days of this government are numbered, no matter what plots it hatches. “The government must quit and hold a fair election as it is a demand of the mass people.”
He alleged that the government has arrested their party’s over 400 leaders and activists over the last two to three days centring their its founding anniversary.
The BNP leader strongly protested and denounced the arrest of their party men, and demanded the government release them immediately.
Islamabad, Sep 4 (AP/UNB) — Polling has started in Pakistan to elect a president, a process likely to strengthen the grip of the ruling party whose nominee is expected to easily become the new ceremonial head of state.
The president is indirectly elected by lawmakers from the National Assembly, the Senate and four provincial assemblies.
Tuesday's election comes two weeks after Pakistan's cricket star-turned-politician Imran Khan became prime minister following the July 25 national elections, which saw his Tehreek-e-Insaf party come into power.
Khan's candidate Arif Alvi faces little challenge from Aitzaz Ahsan from the opposition Pakistan People's Party and Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is a pro-Taliban, anti-U.S. radical Islamic leader.
Washington, Sep 3 (AP/UNB) — When President Donald Trump pulled the plug on an upcoming trip to North Korea by his secretary of state, he pointed a finger of blame at China and the global superpower's trade practices.
In his recent trade breakthrough with Mexico, Trump praised the country's outgoing president for his help on border security and agriculture.
Both developments offered fresh evidence of how Trump has made trade policy the connective tissue that ties together different elements of his "America First" foreign policy and syncs up them with his political strategy for the 2020 presidential election.
Trump's 2016 triumph was paved in part by his support among blue-collar voters in Midwestern manufacturing states that narrowly supported him over Democrat Hillary Clinton, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
His aggressive trade tactics, epitomized by tariffs and standoffs with longtime economic partners and allies, are aimed at reversing what he has long viewed as unfair trade deals while maintaining support among largely white, working-class voters who have been hurt by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
"Trump understands that economic policy is foreign policy and vice versa," said Stephen Moore, a former Trump campaign adviser and visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation. "The most important element of foreign policy is to not just keep the world safe but to also promote America's economic interest. That's what Trump does — this is America First."
It's also good politics, in Trump's view.
"It's a populist position. But it's also a popular position with a lot of Americans," Moore said.
As he puts a high premium on trade gains, Trump is intertwining the issue with a host of top foreign policy concerns.
Trump, asked by reporters last week about North Korea living up to its commitments to denuclearize, said "part of the North Korean problem is caused by our trade disputes with China," pointing to the U.S. trade imbalance with China.
"We have to straighten out our trade relationship because too much money is being lost by us," Trump said. "And as you know, China is the route to North Korea."
Trade has been a common refrain at the president's rallies, where he has vowed to pursue "fair and reciprocal trade."
"We don't want stupid trade like we had for so long," Trump said during a rally in Duluth, Minnesota, in June.
Trump's second year as president has been marked by a number of trade disputes with traditional U.S. allies and global rivals alike, an approach cemented by his tweet that "trade wars are good."
He imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports in March, prompting retaliation from the European Union and other American allies. Later in the month, Trump announced tariffs on China to combat what he called the theft of U.S. technology from a wide range of goods and services.
China struck back with its own sanctions on a variety of U.S. products, including Midwest farm-produced soybeans in a way to hit hard against the president's base of voters. The two sides have clashed during the spring and summer, raising the stakes in their trade fight.
In late July, Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker reached a temporary deal at the White House to avert tariffs on automobile imports and a ramping up of their trade dispute — although the threat still remains.
After a breakthrough with Mexico, Trump's team has been engaged in talks with Canada aimed at creating a new version of the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement.
While previous administrations have often used a carrot-and-stick approach to trade as a way to forge agreements, before Trump's arrival trade agendas had emphasized multi-lateral and bilateral deals aimed at maintaining U.S. leadership around the world, promoting American values and improving human rights.
This administration, by contrast, "is leveraging foreign policy tools to achieve its trade goals," said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch.
Critics say Trump's insistence on trade concessions could hamper his ability to move forward in other areas.
On North Korea, for example, Trump has sought to turn his meeting with Kim Jong Un into a vivid example of how his unconventional style can bring longstanding U.S. adversaries to the bargaining table.
But by raising China's trade practices as essential to any progress to ensuring North Korea gets rid of its nuclear weapons, Trump runs the risk of getting bogged down in both areas — and having little to show for it.
Mixing foreign policy and trade policy introduces so many variables it's "virtually impossible to close on a precise policy decision," said Daniel Ujczo, a trade attorney with Dickinson Wright PLLC in Columbus, Ohio. "You're constantly chasing after the next issue as opposed to having a very targeted approach to the objective."