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Dhaka Tribune

Quader: External interference in Khaleda Zia’s health not logical

BNP is organizationally weak, Obaidul Quader says

Update : 14 Jun 2023, 05:54 PM

BNP chief Khaleda Zia's health is Bangladesh's internal issue and any other country's interference in it is neither justified nor logical, the ruling Awami League's general secretary, Obaidul Quader, has said.

Quader, who is also road transport and bridges minister, made the statement in response to questions about foreign pressure on the release of the BNP chairperson from journalists after the opening ceremony of the Road Safety Project at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Politicizing her health had become more important than her illness, the minister said.

Six legislators of the European Parliament wrote to the EU on Monday on various issues including polls under a neutral government in Bangladesh and the release of Khaleda Zia.

The letter also called for the government's talks with the BNP and other major political parties for a sustainable and democratic solution to the ongoing crisis.

Quader said: “Everyone talks about democracy. In reality, it is difficult to find an institutional form of democracy. There are some errors, and I am not saying that our democracy is completely flawless. [But] the Election Commission is independent by law.”

He described the BNP as organizationally weak and said it could not do anything for Khaleda Zia, adding that there had been no movement on the streets of Bangladesh that could create any pressure for her release. “Our law minister and home minister are looking into the matter (Khaleda's release).” 

The BNP had so far been unable to hold a procession with even 1,000 people, he said.

The allegations that the Awami League had put Khaleda Zia in jail and abolished the caretaker government were false, the minister added. 

Saying the BNP was not participating in any polls, including the city corporation elections, Quader said: “You have to contest elections to prove how popular you are.”

The Awami League general secretary said the BNP was behind the return of the Jamaat-e-Islami.

“The matter (ban on Jamaat) is pending in the High Court… The government cannot intervene in this issue directly. [But] there is a demand for the ban of Jamaat as a party. The Election Commission has cancelled the party's registration.”

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