The US sanctions on RAB and the international community’s voice against human rights violations in Bangladesh have helped rejuvenate the BNP rank and file to take to the streets fearlessly, as reflected in its recent rallies, according to the opposition party’s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. He also said that the law enforcement forces are not as aggressive towards the BNP's programs as they were in the past because it is a universal practice that civil and military bureaucrats do not stand against the people when they put up resistance with just demands. In an interview with UNB this week, Fakhrul talked about many other issues, including BNP’s plans for the simultaneous movement, the Dhaka rally on December 10, the Election Commission, the next general election, the proposed national government, and its relations with Jamaat and India. This is the first part of the interview. Read more: Huge crowds in BNP rally mean they want democracy back, says Mirza Fakhrul “When the government was continuing all misdeeds at an unstoppable pace without facing any resistance and a loud voice from inside and outside the country, the US sanctions on RAB naturally instilled new hope in the democracy-loving people of Bangladesh. It has also inspired BNP,” he said. The BNP leader also said their party leaders and activists got a message through the sanctions that the democracy-loving international community would no longer accept such activities, especially the incidents of human rights violations. “The US in its reports was voicing concerns over Bangladesh’s human rights situation for several years. But this time they not only raised their voices against human rights violations, but also they acted (through the sanctions). It’s undoubtedly encouraged us greatly. On the other hand, the visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet to Bangladesh and her subsequent statements on the issue definitely inspired us,” he observed. Read more: BNP MPs ready to resign; Govt must go for credible election: Fakhrul
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Tuesday alleged that the warrants issued for the arrest of BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman was part of the government’s political vengeance. Speaking at a press conference at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, he also said the government has been using ‘false’ cases as a political weapon to suppress the opposition and create a ground for depoliticisation in the country. “There is no basis in the case in which the arrest warrants were issued against our leader Tarique Rahman and Dr Zubaida Rahman. The Awami League government filed the case out of political vengeance as an attempt to keep them away from Bangladesh and politics,” the BNP leader said. Read more: Arrest warrants issued for Tarique and Zubaida Rahman in corruption case He condemned the issuance of arrest warrants and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the warrants and the case. Earlier in the day, a Dhaka court issued warrants for the arrest of Tarique and Zubaida in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Md Asaduzzaman court passed the order after taking the chargesheet against them into cognisance. Read more: Bangladesh not facing crisis, BNP is in deep crisis: Quader Fakhrul said the government has already kept the BNP Chairperson under house arrest by convicting her in ‘false’ cases only due to political vengeance." Our Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman is being forced to stay abroad using false cases. The case against Zubaida, a professional and talented physician, was filed for political reasons since she is the daughter-in-law of the Zia family.” In response to a question, he said though Zubaida is a non-political professional the arrest warrant was issued against her only because of the government’s fear of the Zia family. The BNP leader alleged that the government has been trying to eliminate BNP and Zia family from politics over the 14 years through various repressive and suppressive acts, and laws and by using law enforcers. He warned the government that its all efforts to weaken BNP will go in vain since the country’s people are with the party. “Despite so much torture, BNP is waking up like a phoenix. There’s no way to prevent the emergence of BNP as it’s a party of people.” No food stock to face emergency Fakhrul said their standing committee meeting on Monday elaborately discussed the Prime Minister’s recent remark about a possible famine in the next year. “Our meeting felt that the PM’s statement has clearly manifested that the government has failed to stockpile food to face exigency. He said the BNP policymakers expressed deep concern as the import of food grains has decreased by about 37 percent in the last four months. Read more: Huge crowds in BNP rally mean they want democracy back, says Mirza Fakhrul “The country’s food security is now under an extreme threat due to the unprecedented corruption, indifference and incompetence of the Food Ministry and the Food Department of the government. At the same time due to corruption, unnecessary spending on different projects and dollar shortages are disrupting imports,” the BNP leader observed. He also bemoaned that the country’s economic crisis is deepening because of the unethical withdrawal of dollars from reserves and siphoning off 7/8 billion dollars every year through illegal channels like hundi. Fakhrul also expressed concern over the increase in the production cost of food grains caused by the increase in the price of fertilisers, seeds and disruption of irrigation operations across the country and for lack of electricity and diesel.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday said that lakhs of people are joining their party’s divisional rallies driven by their desire to get back democracy and their lost rights. “One thing is very important that if there is no democracy, no one's rights can be established,” he said. The BNP leader said the nation has been facing a terrible crisis only for the lack of democracy in the country. “We must overcome this crisis.” “We’ve been on a movement to restore democracy and lakhs of common people are participating in it as they all want the country returns to democracy, and people’s rights are protected,” he observed. Read more: BNP rally begins defying transport strike in Rangpur Fakhrul made the remarks while exchanging greetings with the members of the Hindu community and distinguished personalities at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office after the celebration of Durga Puja. He said BNP believes in inclusive politics with the members of all religious communities, including Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and Christian. The BNP leader said the country was liberated to build a welfare state with the spirit of democracy, equal rights of people, justice, and fairness. Fakhrul alleged that the government first sent BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to jail by convicting her in false cases. “She has now been kept under house arrest.” “I believe the people of Bangladesh will once again wake up shortly like the time of the Liberation War to defeat the devil regime and pave a way for turning Bangladesh into a happy and prosperous country,” he said. Read more: BNP gets Bangabandhu Udyan for its Barishal rally on November 5 BNP Standing Committee members Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice chairman Netai Roy Chowdhury, BNP chairperson's advisors, Bijon Kanti Sarker, Dr Sukomal Barua and Gonoforum general secretary Advocate Subrata Chowdhury, among others, spoke at the programme.
Accusing the government of turning Bangladesh into a crematorium, BNP leaders on Wednesday said that removing the ruling Awami League from power was the only option to restore democracy in the country. “We fought the War of Liberation for democracy. After 50 years of independence, we are fighting again for its restoration. It’s a big and tough struggle, and we must win it,” BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a massive anti-government rally in Chattogram. “We have no other alternative but to win this battle. Either we’ll turn victorious, or we’ll die in this fight,” he told his supporters on Polo Ground in the city. He warned that if their current movement fails, democracy will vanish from the country and the nation’s existence will be at stake. “We want to get democracy and people’s rights back,” he said. As part of the party’s planned divisional programmes, Chattogram city unit BNP organised the rally in the port city where tens of thousands of their activists and leaders joined. Wednesday’s programme was the first divisional rally to denounce the ongoing power crisis, unusual price hikes of daily essentials and killing of five opposition activists in police firing in Bhola, Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Jashore during recent anti-government protests. The BNP on September 27 announced to hold public rallies in all divisional cities. The party will conclude the divisional rallies through a mass gathering in Dhaka city on December 10. On Wednesday, Mirza Fakhrul also accused the government of destroying the country’s economy and all the state institutions by indulging in corruption and plundering over the last 15 years. This monstrous regime of Awami League had turned Bangladesh into a crematorium. “They looted public money and laundered it abroad,” he said. Referring to the US sanctions on RAB, the BNP Secretary General said the sanctions should be imposed now on the government instead of the elite force. “Because the incidents of enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing have been carried out at the behest of the government.” Fakhrul also said the United Nations and different international human rights agencies say that enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings take place in Bangladesh as the judiciary cannot function independently. About the Election Commission's recent meeting with deputy commissioners and superintendents of police, Fakhrul said police and bureaucrats such as DCs are least bothered about what the Election Commission says, as they only follow the instructions of the Prime Minister. "So, a credible election is not possible without a neutral government,” he said.. Noting that the current government is an unelected one, he said that it has no mandate to rule the country. “The people of the country didn’t accept this regime.” The BNP leader said people are going through serious ordeals as the prices of daily commodities have gone up abnormally Read:BNP rally going on amid tight security in Chattogram
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today (October 03, 2022) said the planned “coinciding” movements by political parties to oust the current government of Bangladesh will be “under the leadership” of Khaleda Zia. He said, “We have taken united steps (to hold coinciding movements) …We have already announced the (top) leader of our movement. Begum Khaleda Zia is our leader. In her absence, our acting chairman Tarique Rahman is our leader,” he said. Fakhrul made the remarks while talking to reporters after a dialogue with Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar), a partner of the 20-party alliance, at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office. Also read: BNP determined to build non-communal Bangladesh: Fakhrul He said they will start the simultaneous movement after completing the second round of dialogue with all the opposition parties. The party began its second phase of talks with the first meeting with Kalyan Party on Sunday. The BNP Secretary General sat for dialogue with Jatiya Party (Kazi Zafar) on Monday with a goal to finalise the demands and issues that will be highlighted in the movement. A nine-member delegation of the Jatiya Party, led by its chairman Mostafa Jamal Haider, joined the talks with Mirza Fakhrul and Nazrul Islam Khan, a standing committee member of BNP and 20-party coordinator. Also read: Anti-govt Movement: BNP initiates 2nd phase of talks Earlier, BNP had discussions with 23 parties during its first phase of talks that began on May 24 to work out the outline for launching a united movement to 'restore' democracy and people’s voting rights in Bangladesh.
Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Ito Naoki, met BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today, a day after some leaders and activists of the party were attacked in Dhaka and Cumilla. The meeting which started at 10 am at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office ended around 11:30 am. BNP standing committee member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and organising secretary Shyama Obaid were present at the meeting. Read:BNP holds candlelight vigil amid attack in city Talking to reporters after the meeting, Amir Khosru, also convener of BNP's foreign affairs committee, said Bangladesh-Japan relationship is long-standing. He said they discussed various issues of bilateral cooperation between the two countries alongside the latest political situation in Bangladesh. Asked whether the latest attacks on BNP leaders and activists came up for discussion, he said, “I have already said we talked about contemporary political issues.” Read: BNP's candlelight vigil in Banani attacked by ruling party activists Last night, some BNP leaders, including standing committee member Selima Rahman, joint secretary general Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, organising secretary Shyama Obaid and executive committee member Tabith Awal, suffered injuries as ruling party activists reportedly attacked a candlelight vigil of the opposition party on Kamal Atartuk Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Dhaka’s Banani. Tabith, a BNP foreign affairs committee member, was admitted to United Hospital for treatment with a head injury. Earlier in the day, four people including BNP Vice Chairman Barkatullah Bulu and his wife, were injured in an attack by miscreants at Monohorganj upazila in Cumilla. Read Japan seeks stronger cultural ties with Bangladesh engaging younger generation
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday refused to comment on Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Shafiqur Rahman’s leaked comments on the future of the 20-party alliance. “I know what you (journalists) will say. I won’t answer. So, there’s no point in asking me anything about it (Jamaat),” said Mirza Fakhrul, pre-empting any line of inquiry on Jamaat by journalists, who tried to draw his attention to the issue during a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office. When one of them compared Fakhrul's refusal to take the question with suppression of his (the reporter's) democratic rights, the BNP leader said, "I respect your democratic rights. But I also have the right to not answer that." He also said journalists can write on the issue as they see fit, in exercise of their right. At a recent virtual meeting of Jamaat leadership, its Ameer Shafiqur Rahman said the 20-party alliance is no longer effective, and perhaps more intriguingly, that BNP itself "does not want to keep this alliance active." Read: Govt trying to create anarchy with relentless attacks on opposition: Fakhrul He went on to add: “Such a dysfunctional alliance cannot continue for years.” Shafiqur further informed his fellow Jamaat leaders: "We have had open discussions with them (BNP) and they agreed with this. They will not make any more alliances. We will now try our best from our own position." A video clip of this meeting containing Shafiqur’s remarks went viral on Sunday. On January 6, 1999, still more than two years out from the next parliamentary election scheduled for 'not before the summer of 2001', the BNP formed its erstwhile 4-party alliance, bringing together on the same plaform, the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jatiya Party, the Islami Oikya Jote, and of course itself. Although 4 parties were enough to rout the AL and all its well-meaning, good-speaking yet ultimately useless, lifeless, meaningless allies in the elections held in October 2001. On April 18, 2012, the alliance turned into a platform of 18 parties, before eventually settling the matter out of court in 2021.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud has said the ruling party Awami League (AL) will take control of the streets in September and keep it occupied until the national polls. Hasan, also AL joint general secretary, was addressing a meeting in Rajshahi city Thursday night. Rajshahi Metropolitan AL leaders and activists were present. "At a public rally in Dhaka's Nayapaltan, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today (Thursday) said they will have to take control of the streets," the minister said. "In reply, I would tell my party leaders and activists: August is a month of mourning, which we are observing through different programmes. When the mourning ends, we will occupy the streets in September." Also read: All-party effort required to sustain democratic system: Hasan
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday alleged that the government has pushed the entire roads management of the country towards anarchy. “Our Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader wearing a fancy suit nicely said that what Awami League was doing never happened in the past. But you have pushed the entire roads management towards anarchy, he said. The BNP leader said hundreds of people are losing their lives in road accidents due to chaos on the roads. “We saw that our 11 students who were travelling in a microbus died as a train hit them yesterday (Friday). We can show numerous examples like this every day.” Also read: Fuel, forex reserves may run out after power crisis: Fakhrul He came up with the comments while speaking at a rally organised by Dhaka South city unit BNP in front of the National Press Club protesting the ongoing load-shedding, mismanagement in the energy sector and the hikes in fuel and gas prices. Fakhrul accused the government of dashing the dream of the country’s people and the freedom fighters to have a democratic and prosperous Bangladesh. He alleged that the current authoritarian government has destroyed democracy, the judiciary and the banking sector because of its theft, robbery and greed. “There is a saying in Bengali literature that the kingdom is ruined by the fault of the king, but the people suffer". Sheikh Hasina's government is responsible for the sufferings we’re going through,” the BNP leader observed. He called upon the BNP leaders and workers to take an oath for ousting the 'monstrous' 'fascist' government by launching a one-point demand. Also read: Creating rumors now the main task of BNP leaders: AL As a democratic party, Fakhrul said BNP has the responsibility to protect the county and its people from the misrule of the current despotic regime. “If we can form a government by winning the people's movement, we will certainly solve all the problems and establish this country as a truly people's state."
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday warned that Awami League will be ousted from power through a street movement if it fails to accept their demand for an election-time government. He also said there is no scope for their party to engage in talks with the government on any other issue, except the election-time government. “If the government doesn’t take any step to accept our demands (especially polls-time govt), then the solution will come only through a street movement,” the BNP leader said. He voiced confidence that this time they will be able to ensure the fall of the Awami League government through a movement with people’s spontaneous support. Fakhrul came up with the remarks while speaking at ‘Meet the Ocab’ programme at the Jatiya Press Club organised by the Overseas Correspondents Association of Bangladesh. He said they will initiate a simultaneous movement with all other opposition parties in the days to come to realise their demands. Read: 'BNP desperate to grab power': Obaidul Quader “We have the experience of carrying out simultaneous movements in the past. You surely didn’t forget that we carried out such a movement in 1990…we’re now in talks with the political parties following that model,” the BNP leader said. He also said the opposition political parties will initiate the movement from their respective positions. “The movement itself will later determine in which direction it may go.” Fakhrul, however, said the government can resolve the political crisis and pave the way for a credible election peacefully by incorporating the election-time administration into the constitution. “Everything is possible if the government wants. We have made it clear that we’ll go to the election only if it is held under a neutral caretaker government,” he said. The BNP leader said the constitution was amended for the sake of elections in the past, including in 1990. “Awami League also amended the constitution and changed many parts of it. So if you want, you can do it as there is a term Doctrine of Necessity. It’s now necessary for the interest of people. So, the constitution should be amended and the next election must be arranged under a non-partisan government,” the BNP leader observed. Also read: AL's ‘mega corruption’ led country to edge of disaster: Fakhrul Narrating the experiences of recent elections, including the 2014 and 2018 national polls, he said an acceptable and credible election is not possible under a partisan government. “No Election Commission can work neutrally under a partisan government…even KM Nurul Huda (former chief election commissioner) who conducted a stigmatised election in 2018 said the election under a partisan government is very difficult.” Replying to a question, Fakhrul said their party is not having any back door discussion with the government.” Everything we do is at the front door." "We’re declaring publicly from the public meetings that we and many other parties won’t join the polls without a caretaker or a neutral government.” Asked if the country is heading towards a politics of violence, he said it will depend on the actions of the government. "As the government is now in the driving seat, it has to take initiatives to resolve the political crisis. If they don’t want to see violence and confrontation, then the government must quit and take steps for the formation of a caretaker government.” The BNP leader also said they expect that all the democratic countries, including India, will play a positive role from their respective positions in strengthening democracy in Bangladesh. In reply to a question, Fakhrul said they see some similarities between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in terms of economic crisis. He said Bangladesh is now hit hard by the hike in fuel and energy prices in the international market while the country has become dependent on foreign countries for gas since the government did not take steps to explore own gas over the last 15 years. “The prices of imported gas and dollars are going up.” Besides, the BNP leader said the country’s foreign currency reserves are going down and the import and production costs are growing. So, a major crisis has already begun here and it is now deepening. "That is why we are afraid that a financial situation like Sri Lanka may emerge here.” He alleged that people are going through a miserable life because of the increase in prices of essentials and utility services, power crisis and growing unemployment rate. “The government is indulging in mega plundering in the name of mega projects. An awful situation has been created due to the widespread corruption of the government. This government, which is involved in corruption, will never be able to solve this problem.” Fakhrul also said BNP is the only alternative party that can solve the current problems of the country by returning to power through a credible election. "We have now one suggestion…step down and arrange the election under a neutral government. Only the elected government can solve the crisis.” Overseas Correspondents Association Bangladesh (OCAB), is a platform of Dhaka-based journalists working for foreign media. OCAB convenor and BBC correspondent Qadir Kallol, its member secretary and German news agency DPA correspondent Nazrul Islam Mithu and senior member and UNB Editor Farid Hossain, were among others, present.