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Dhaka Tribune

PM Hasina: Will have dialogue with opposition if Biden does same with Trump

  • No dialogue will killers, says PM 
  • Election with be held in due time
  • ‘BNP does not want an election’
Update : 31 Oct 2023, 11:40 PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said she will have dialogue with the opposition if the US President Joe Biden does the same with former president and 2024 US presidential candidate Donald Trump. 

The premier said this while addressing a press conference arranged at her official residence Ganabhaban to speak about the outcomes of her recent visit to Belgium.

“Is (US President) Biden holding dialogue with Mr Trump? If Biden sits with Trump for dialogue, then I will hold the dialogue (with opposition),” she said at a press conference referring to the US ambassador's call for dialogue with the opposition earlier on Tuesday. 

Following a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas expressed hope that all sides going forward will engage in a “dialogue” without preconditions to de-escalate tensions and find a path forward to free, fair and peaceful elections.

The prime minister also said that the people of Bangladesh “do not want any dialogue with killers.”

“No dialogue with the killers. This is Bangladesh. People of the country also do not want any dialogue with killers,” she told the press conference.

Election will be held and it will be in due time, she added.

The prime minister accused the BNP of wanting to create an unusual situation ahead of the national election.

“BNP does not want an election; they want to create an unusual situation,” she said. 

“BNP is a party of terrorists,” PM Hasina said.

BNP won’t be able to stop the next general election by resorting to violence as they had failed to foil the 2014 and 2018 polls, said Sheikh Hasina, reports UNB.

“They won’t be able to stop the election in such a way (through unleashing violence). They couldn’t stop the elections in 2013 and 2018. This time too they won’t be able to do so. Inshallah, the election will be held in time,” she said.

She said those who burn buses will be identified, arrested and punished. “I think the hands they use to set a bus on fire should be burned immediately. If so, they will get a lesson or else not,” she said replying to a question from a journalist.

PM Hasina hoped that the BNP would stop the violence. “If they don’t stop, they will face the consequences for it,” she said, adding that these things won’t be allowed to go without punishment.

In reply to another question, Sheikh Hasina said BNP has again proved that it is a terrorist party by resorting to violence on October 28 last.

“BNP-Jamaat jote is terrorists. BNP is a terrorist party, which they proved again,” she said, adding that a Canadian court earlier called them so several times.

BNP started regaining public trust and confidence gradually as they were carrying out political programs in healthy manners (in the recent days), she said, adding that the government didn’t hinder their programs.

“But they would get nothing other than public indignation after the October 28 incident,” she said strongly condemning the attacks on police and journalists by BNP men on that day.

The prime minister said their (BNP) habit wouldn’t change no matter how much good behaviour the government does with them.

“I think they don’t want an election rather they want to create an abnormal situation,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, said their character is to create sufferings of the people.

“BNP is a terrorist organization. I think now we should give the terrorists a lesson which they deserve. So, we’ll do it,” she said.

PM Hasina returned home on October 27 last, wrapping up her three-day official visit to Belgium where she attended the "Global Gateway Forum 2023" held on October 25-26 in Brussels at the invitation of the European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen.

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