German foreign minister says, it’s not his work to give lesson

Nizam Ahmed

Nizam Ahmed

An observation of the German foreign minister in response to a question at a recent joint news conference in Dhaka, might have hurt someone, but it carried a great lesson for the relevant people in the news media.

“It is not my work to give any lesson…. I am here with a big high-level business delegation as we are eager to expand our trade relations,” replied German Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

guido westerwelle
Guido Westerwelle >> photograph :: Wikipedia

The German foreign minister said so when was asked to comment on the ongoing “crisis” in Bangladesh, at the joint news conference also attended by his host and counterpart Dipu Moni, on Saturday, June 23.

Though he said giving lesson was not his work, Westerwelle’s uncommon reply, put us – the journalists back to our senses that reporters should not ask foreign dignitaries to comment on the sorry state of affairs of our country. Whatever the German foreign minister expressed in his initial statement and in the subsequent answering session depicted his more than enough concern on Bangladesh’s recent events.

“Like all others, we are concerned about the recent killings of activists (in Bangladesh),” said Westerwelle while blushful Dipu Moni was sitting beside at the state guest house Meghna.

Though it is a matter of fact that kidnapping, killing and alleged abuse of human rights in the south Asian country were on rise, the administration, political parties, civil societies and rights groups are putting their best effort against such political felony, according to political analysts.

However like other western dignitaries who visited Bangladesh in the recent past, the German foreign minister also urged all political actors to work together for strengthening democracy, ensure human rights and uphold the rule of law in the country. But unlike other western leaders and government officials Westerwelle, declined to give his impromptu opinion on the country’s state of politics, with a tone of annoyance and straightforwardness.

Perhaps he did not want to repeat whatever he had already said at the news conference or he declined to say thing directly which might be tantamount to interference into the country’s internal affairs. However it is clear that the question was intended to get the German foreign minister’s more deeper and direct observation on the country’s confrontational politics aimed at embarrassing the political parties including the ruling one.

The German foreign minister’s observation seemed unfamiliar to most of our colleagues, who have been covering such news conference for quite a long time. But according to elderly journalists of the country the reporters have been on the wrong side asking wrong questions to the people, who are not fairly familiar to our political climate.

Meanwhile Bangladesh attained a commendable political stability in spite of confrontational politics, which are also started taking a positive turn. Since 1991 we organised at least four national elections which were credible across the world. It is also hoped that future elections will also be peaceful, fair and credible, a senior official of the Bangladesh Election Commission said.

Making such question to visiting ministers and senior officials from the overseas has been in practice in our arena since mid 1990s, when the ruling and the opposition parties were in course of confrontation over political differences.