Dhaka, Sept 19 (UNB) - BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Wednesday said their party is taking necessary preparations to come up with street programmes to push for Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and holding a credible election.
“We need to forget about having Khaleda Zia released from jail through legal process …street movement is now the only way for having her freed,” he said.
Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader also said, “We’re taking preparations and necessary steps to announce fresh action programmes. Our politics in the coming days, restoration of voting rights, and democracy and independence of the judiciary are involved with those programmes.”
He called upon all the democracy-loving people to get united to make their movement a success through united efforts.
Diploma Engineers Association, a pro-BNP engineers’ platform, formed the human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club, demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail and proper treatment of her.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said Khaleda should have been released within seven days of her jailing through a legal battle. “But, we couldn’t free her over the last seven months as the lower court is now under the control of the government.”
He said their lawyers worked hard and used all the legal options to ensure the BNP chief’s release. “Even after that, we couldn’t be successful due to the government’s influence on the lower court.”
Under the circumstances, the BNP leader focused on consolidating a greater national unity with other opposition political parties to force the government to ensure the next polls under a neutral administration.
“There’s no other alternative for people to forging the national unity. The freedom of the country’s 16 crore people now depends on a successful movement through the national unity,” he added.
Moudud said they will involve the people of all walks life with their movement through uniting them to force the government to restore democracy and voting rights through holding an acceptable election.
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) - Awami League joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif on Tuesday alleged that Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is patronising militancy to create anarchy in the county with a target to oust the government.
“Neither Islam nor any religious institution or any Qawmi madrasah is involved in producing any form of extremism, fake content or terrorism. Political evil forces, including Jamaat, are behind all these things,” he said.
The ruling party leader was addressing a dialogue titled "Extremism and fake content in social media: Challenges and way forward" organised by Move Foundation at a hotel in Baridhara diplomatic enclave.
He said attacks on the Buddha community in Cox’s Bazar and Hindus in Brahmanbaria were made instigating people through social media. “A quarter also tried to create anarchy spreading rumours and fake contents during the movements for quota reforms and safe roads,” he said.
Hanif also claimed that there was political support and cooperation behind these. “Not only Jamaat backed all these activities but also phone calls were made from London for destabilising the country,” he said in an oblique reference to BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman.
He said madrasah students are not involved in any extremist group or activity.
“Those who get political benefits after extremism strikes are involved in it. We must identify the beneficiaries of the incidents first and then we can understand who are involved in such activities.”
About the freedom of expression, the AL leader said anyone can express one’s opinions. “But we don’t want such type of freedom of speech which creates violence in the society. We don’t want such democracy where people are burned to death.”
Director of National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre Brigadier General Ziaul Ahsan presented the keynote at the programme while Canadian High Commissioner Benoit Prefontaine, former Chief Information Commissioner Prof Golam Rahman, Islami Oikya Jote leader Maulana Altaf Hossain, Major General (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, BNP leader Barrister Sarwar, Bhorer Kagoj Editor Shyamal Dutta, among others, attended the dialogue.
Honorary chair of Move Foundation Dr Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury moderated the dialogue while its founder and president Saiful Haque delivered the welcome speech.
Dhaka, Sep 18 (UNB) - Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad on Tuesday claimed that if the upcoming general election is held in a free and fair manner then his party will come to the power after winning it.
Inaugurating a workshop at Expo Zone of International Convention City Bashundhara, the former president asked his party men to get united and form separate committees centring the voting stations to prevent any vote rigging attempts and irregularities.
He said that if his party had not ruled the country in the past, it would have been remained in the darkness, according to a press release.
“We made advancements, never did looting or embezzlements. In our time in power the incidents of killings, disappearances and terrorism never took place; we don’t have blood stain in our hands, so people of the country love us and want us back in power”, he said.
“After gaining power, BNP cancelled 5,088 cases on political consideration while Awami League also cancelled 6,000 cases but the cases filed against me were still running. Because everyone fears Jatiya Party, as the party has its strong existence among the countrymen”, Ershad said.
JP chairman’s advisor of information and technology, Shafiulla Al Munir, JP co-chairman GM Quader, secretary general ABM Ruhul Amin Hawladar, presidium member and state minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (LGRD), Mashiur Rahaman Ranga, joint general secretary of ruling Awami League Jahangir Kabir Nanak were also present there among others.
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said she looks forward to continued support from India for the development of Bangladesh.
"I look forward to continued support from the government of India in our development pursuit. I’m quite sure we’ll get such many happy events in the days ahead for the welfare of our people," she said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were jointly inaugurating the construction of 130-km Bangladesh-India Friendship Pipeline between Siliguri in West Bengal and Parbatipur in Dinajpur.
They opened the work on the oil pipeline through videoconferencing.
Sheikh Hasina attended the videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban while Narendra Modi from his office in New Delhi.
The two leaders also inaugurated the construction of the third and fourth dual gauge rail lines of Dhaka-Tongi and Tongi-Joydevpur sections of Bangladesh Railway.
Hasina said the economic development is the biggest challenge for South Asian countries. "The prospects for economic development will substantially be enhanced through undertaking bilateral projects like this," she said.
She mentioned that the bilateral cooperation between Bangladesh and India has reached a new height over the past few years.
"We’re working and will work collectively for the development and prosperity for the people of both countries in the new areas, including energy, power, road and rail communications," she said.
The Prime Minister said the people of Bangladesh and India have always been good neighbours.
She recalled the cooperation of the government of India and its people during the War of Liberation in 1971, led by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Referring to her inauguration together with Modi of the supply of 500MW electricity and two railway projects on September 10 and today’s joint projects, the Prime Minister said, "This intermittent contact between us, I believe, will further cement the ties of cooperation between Bangladesh and India."
Hasina mentioned that an excellent environment of bilateral cooperation prevails between the two neighbouring countries since she assumed office in 2009.
"The mutual cooperation between the two countries enhanced many folds in the fields of security, power and energy, trade, communication, infrastructure development, environment, renewable energy, education, culture, people-to-people contact and health during the last nine and a half years," she said.
Hasina said the train communication in the south-western region through Padma Bridge and in the northern region through Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge, and on Chattogram-Sylhet routes from Dhaka will be easier and faster once the work on the 3rd and 4th Dual Gauge Line on Dhaka-Tongi section and Double Line on Dhaka-Joydevpur section is completed.
She also mentioned that a total of 96 kms of dual-gauge tracks along with other necessary infrastructures will be constructed under the project that stretches from Kamalapur to Joydevpur railway station.
About the pipeline, the Prime Minister said the 130-km India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline from Shiliguri to Parbatipur in Bangladesh is a new milestone in the history of cooperation between the two countries.
"This will be the first such pipeline through which refined diesel will be supplied to Parbatipur depot from Numaligarh of Assam in India," she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that Bangladesh will initially receive 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel per annum and it will gradually be increased to 4 lakh tonnes.
She also said the first consignment of diesel from India reached Bangladesh in March 2016 through rail wagons.
Hasina expressed her gratitude to her Indian counterpart for his active role in implementing these projects.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two countries implemented a number of projects within a short time which are the symbols of good relations between the two countries.
"We’re not only neighbours, we’re also a family. We always extend our hands in our happiness and sorrow. We’ve proved that we could solve problems if we wish,” he said.
Modi said these projects have initiated a new chapter in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India. "It’ll play a significant role in Bangladesh's development as fuel oil could be supplied to the northern region at a low cost," he said.
About the railway projects, he said the schemes will not only help carry passengers, but also transport goods.
Highly appreciating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership, the Indian PM said these projects could not be implemented without her dynamic leadership.
"These projects are very important for people-to-people contact between the two countries. I hope such cooperation between Bangladesh and India will continue," he said.
During their speeches, the two Prime Ministers greeted each other on the occasion of their birthdays.
The birthday of Modi was celebrated on September 17 while that of Sheikh Hasina will be celebrated on September 28.
Currently, imported oil is stored in Chattogram depot after unloading it from the ship at Chattogram Port. Later, the oil is brought to Khulna Doulatpur depot through coastal tanks and carried to Parbatipur again through rail wagons.
This requires additional time and money as well as transport. The pipeline will solve these problems.
Through the cross-border pipeline, India will supply fuel oil from its Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), located at Golaghat in the northeastern state of Assam, while Bangladesh will receive the oil at Parbatipur depot of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) in Dinajpur. India will supply 2.5 lakh tonnes of diesel in the first three years.
The import of fuel through the pipeline will be raised further as per the requirements of Bangladesh. The NRL will distribute diesel for 15 years through the pipeline and the time could be expanded following the consent of both sides.
To implement the construction work on the two rail projects, over Tk 1,106 crore under Indian Line of Credit (LoC) would be spent.
Under the two projects, 48.80 kms of two new dual gauge rail lines would be constructed on Dhaka-Tongi route, while a 12.28-km new dual gauge railway double line on Tongi-Joydevpur route, in parallel with the existing rail tracks.
On completion of the schemes, rail communication of Gazipur, Tangail, Narsingdi, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla, Mymensingh and Jamalpur with Dhaka will improve.
As a result, the travel time will be reduced on these routes, while trains can run maintaining schedule set by the railway authorities.
Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj and Indian Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Prodhan also spoke on the occasion.
Dhaka, Sept 18 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Tuesday said the recommendation for abolishing the quota system for Grade-I and Grade-II jobs in civil service is a ‘deception’ by the government.
Speaking at a discussion, he also feared that the country will witness many changes in the next one month ahead of the national election.
“Those who waged a movement sought reform in all government jobs. They didn’t seek such reform what the government committee recommended. It’s a deception,” the BNP leader said.
Moudud also accused the government of betraying the quota-reform demonstrators with the recommendation. “It (recommendation) needs to be reconsidered. We’ve sympathy for the demonstrators. I believe their movement won’t go in vain.”
Bangladesh Jatiya Manabadhikar Parishad arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
A government committee has recently recommended scrapping the quota system for class-I and class-II jobs in government jobs.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the students demanded for the reform in quota for ensuring proper evaluation of merit at all stages of the government jobs. “But the recommendation is given for removing quota system for Class I and Class II jobs.”
He said the country’s young generation did not have any idea about the nature of Awami League and its traits. “They’ve realised it through the government’s attitude towards the students during the movements for safe roads and quota reform. The government deceived the demonstrators.”
The BNP leader said the new generation will not vote for Awami League in the next election as the government deceived them.
Moudud alleged that the government is talking about formation of an election-time government though there is no such provision in the Constitution. “It’s an imaginary proposal.”
He, however, said an election-time neutral government can be constituted going beyond the Constitution through discussions with political parties.
“The time is running out fast. There’s a big challenge for us to restore people’s voting rights. Only one month is left, and there’ll be many changes in the country during this period,” the BNP leader observed.
He urged BNP leaders and activists to take adequate preparations to force the government to take steps for arranging a neutral election.
Moudud said the country’s people, except those are with the 14-party alliance, are now united with a demand for a credible and impartial election.
About their Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s illness, he said the formation of a medical board for her treatment is also a deception by the government as the broad members are ‘active Awami Leaguers’.
“Begum Zia is very sick. It’s tough to hold back tears hearing the statements of those who met her about her condition. We met the Home Minister for ensuring her treatment. He assured us of taking steps, but didn’t work accordingly,” the BNP leader said.
He warned that those who are resorting to tricks over Khaleda’s treatment will have to be accountable to someday.
Moudud demanded the government form a new medical board, including Khaleda’s personal physicians, to ensure her proper treatment.