Some observers believe that Bangladesh is heading towards a political impasse. Two major alliance led by two main stream political parties Bangladesh Awami League and BNP have locked horns over the form of government to oversee the ensuing general election. BNP led alliance demands of restoration of so called caretaker form government and ruling alliance led by Awami League plans for an election based on prevailing constitution as parliament has already scrapped the provision of caretaker government following a judiciary verdict terming caretaker government conflicting with the spirit of the constitution. Ruling alliance is also proposing an arrangement for over viewing the election under an interim government formed of the elected representatives of the present parliament.
Though apparently the form of government is the major issue yet Jamaat-BNP alliance is also agitating on the streets and is on a massive propaganda mission to destabilize the country with an ill motive of frustrating the government initiative of trial and punishment of the criminals against humanity of 1971 liberation war.
Election is for electing a sovereign parliament where elected MPs will debate on all national issues and formulate law to run the government. In parliamentary democracy the role of treasury bench and opposition are equally important for establishing democracy. But we are ashamed to witness the continued parliament boycott culture of opposition. Both the alliance is culprit of this crime. Elected MPs elected with the vote of the majority voters of the respective constituency betray with the mandate and stay away from parliament with very sickening pretext. They however continue to enjoy all privileges of parliamentarians despite absenting from parliament session. How can democracy mature if actors to establish and strengthen democracy remain fugitive from parliament? Why present opposition MPs can not place their points and argue strongly in favor on the floor of the parliament instead of talking on street like street vendors? If elected MPs want to play a game of soccer from side line without taking the field, who will score the winning goals for them? Referees will not play in their favor.
- Neither alliance is ready to give an inch. Resulting confrontations on the streets are creating serious chaotic situation and creating apprehension of unelected opportunist evil force exploiting the situation.
- Civil society and foreign diplomats are urging for an urgent dialogue between two alliances and come to a negotiated settlement as the economy of the country is being seriously impacted from ongoing conflicts on the streets.
There has been several by elections and other elections conducted during the tenure of this government. In most of the elections ruling party candidates lost the election. No observer could bring any major allegations of election frauds. Hence where is the apprehension that the election if conducted by present EC under the present government will be manipulated?
Jamaat-BNP alliance often talks about election fraud by the last interim/ caretaker government. Even Khaleda Zia often claim that Iazuddin-Fakhruddin -Moinuddin led interim government engineered the downfall of her four party alliance government and abetted for landslide victory of the BAL led grand alliance, knowledgeable quarters know that all three uddins were set by Khaleda herself with seemingly ulterior motives . But their long term plan misfired. Why opposition can not table their specific proposal to the nation through parliament? Do they really want democracy to survive and strengthen or they want that some evil force through conspiracy will create situation to open the back door for them to state power?
Why BNP is backing the avalanche of Jamaat-Shibir goons on the streets? BNP founding father the martial democrat General Zia was one the liberation front commanders. There are still several active freedom fighters in BNP and its fronts. Still why the party is very openly and actively supporting the beneficiaries of 1971 butchers? They can come up with recommendations if any for more transparent trail processes .But why they are trying to barricade the trail process of major criminals who very actively collaborated with the occupation Pakistan Army in conducting massive genocide, raping, looting and arsenal in Bangladesh from 25 March 1– 16 December 1971? Why the freedom fighters of BNP and its fronts are not taking stand against party position? Or is it a party position or some top leaders have taken individual decision?
Present government has also advanced in the trial process of other major crimes like horrendous November 1971 Jail Killings of 4 top national leaders, killings of two elected MPs Ahshanullah Master and ASMS Kibria; State sponsored Ramna Massacre on opposition party 21 August rally, massive arms haul for Tripura Guerrillas confiscated at CUFL Jetty. Government is also desperately trying to return the huge money siphoned off by several individuals by past regime. Is the present agitation of the opposition parties directed to frustrate these efforts to protect killers and criminals?
True the present government also made major failures in some areas but it has also made milestone achievements in several other areas. There are no valid reasons why the present government should not continue till the end of its current term and then arrange election in accordance to constitutional process or through reaching agreements and negotiated settlements about the form of the government.
The law and order situation may not be the most ideal but it is definitely much better than what it used to be from 2002-2006. No arges grenade is being thrown on any one anywhere, no state sponsored grenade attacks on opposition rally, and no big consignment of arms haul is channeled through Bangladesh for subversive elements across the border. Food security is ensured, farmers getting massive support for farming, energy situation is improving progressively. Peace and tranquility prevails in rural areas. GDP is growing steadily. Yes there was Share Market Scam, Destiny, Hallmark scams. But all the mischief mongers are identified mostly and going through trail process. The Padma bridge episode is under probe. Bangladesh has made significant advancement in resolving several outstanding issues with major neighbor India. It has positively resolved maritime boundary disputes with Myanmar and the disputes with India may be resolved in the same way. Power Grid connectivity is almost complete. Signing of Teesta River water sharing and exchange of border enclave issues are on the table of India to advance.
In view of above the neutral people and silent majority must realize what are the driving motives of Jamaat-BNP led opposition to create chaos on the street? Were they better managers of state? Could they address national issues more professionally?
The only motive is to protect war criminals, corrupt syndicates and self confessed killers from punishment. We hope sensible leaders of opposition BNP and new generation of Jamat Shibir will bring their misguided leaders back to reality.