Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Voters need BNP to state its position on ICT

Update : 22 Jul 2013, 05:27 AM

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been conspicuous in her silence by not commenting on the recent verdicts of the International Crimes Tribunal.

Debate about 1971 is a constant fixture in Bangladeshi politics, so the ICT’s judgments were always expected to give rise to extensive debate, especially because BNP’s current ally, Jamaat, is opposed to the process.

And indeed some commentators are now speculating whether or not future governments will uphold the tribunal’s findings. Fears have been expressed that a different government may seek to overturn the verdicts or work to facilitate early release for convicted persons.

It is in this context that Khaleda Zia’s silence is a cause for concern. A major hope for the ICT process was that by ending impunity, it would provide some sense of justice and closure to victims of 1971.

Should the ICT process, which received a considerable mandate at the last election, be at risk of being overturned by the pendulum of electoral politics, the public has a right to know before the next election so that they can make an informed choice, when casting their ballots.

Voters whether supporters of the war crimes tribunals or not, have a right to be informed what attitude will be taken by the BNP alliance. It is a legitimate matter of public interest that all parties seeking to form the next government should provide a clear indication of support or disagreement with the ICT process. 

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