Release Khaleda, Hasina: Delwar

Tasneem Khalil

Tasneem Khalil

[Dhaka Correspondent] Khandaker Delwar Hossain — BNP secretary general — Tuesday urged the military-led interim government to release two top political leaders of Bangladesh, Khaleda Zia of BNP and Sheikh Hasina of Awami League, from jail to ensure the country’s return to democracy.

“It is the desire of the people that the two top leaders be released from jail. It will help a smooth return to democracy as the people still have faith in their leadership,” Delwar told newsmen at his Dhaka residence.

He said the Election Commission should be more careful about its jurisdiction. “People believe that the commission is aware of its jurisdiction and is coordinating its work properly,” he said. “Articles 118 to 123 of the constitution spell out the role and function of the Election Commission and its relations with the political parties.”

The country will observe whether the commission is going by the articles and behaving accordingly, Delwar said. “People expect that the EC will act neutrally as a constitutional body.”

Delwar blamed the commission indirectly for favoring the followers of the expelled party secretary general, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan. “When [acting office secretary] Rizvee Ahmed went there [EC] carrying our letter, he was not received courteously. But when [Mofiqul Hasan] Tripti [expelled office secretary] went to the Election Commission he got a warm welcome.”