Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Vision 2030 is nothing but a laughable fiction. It is also a copy-cat idea taken from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Vision 2021 and Vision 2041.
Despite being in power for most of the time since 1975, the BNP never proposed anything called a “Vision” before, but only executed an agenda to ruin Bangladesh, especially the political system, through secret killings of activists as well as armed forces personnel and by introducing widespread corruption.
The party was built on corruption: One cannot forget that General Ziaur Rahman took students on cruise ship visits to Singapore so as to lure them into his party.
The students were shown how to bring back tax-free goods to sell in Bangladesh at four times the original price, thus corrupting their young minds.
Imagine the kind of party that would result when you deliberately attract and self-select unscrupulous people instead of people who want to work for the nation’s welfare.
Going back to the fictitious vision, the title itself, Vision 2030, is definitely a copy without any argument. Since Sheikh Hasina has been successful in achieving her vision, the BNP thought it could hoodwink people into believing that it will also deliver on its so-called vision.
However, sadly, they have not been able to sell it and it has not been bought by the people, judging by the social media comments so far.
According to this Vision 2030, which consists of 256 proposals, the BNP will try to increase the country’s per capita income to $5,000 from the current $1,466, and it will achieve a double-digit annual growth rate by 2030. Such an ambition is quite impossible if you consider the economic realities of Bangladesh.
Khaleda said they will start implementing her vision after “winning” the next elections set for around early 2019 and that the polls will be held under a “neutral administration.” That is a fool’s errand because imagining they will be able to change the Constitution to hold polls under a “neutral administration” is unrealistic. It is only their wishful thinking and politics is not wishful thinking.
Khaleda would do well to speak the truth and instead of deceiving voters by conveniently ‘forgetting’ to mention how she is going to realise her Vision 2030
Moreover, reports said the BNP will have to win the parliamentary elections three consecutive times to execute the vision. That is also wishful thinking.
A major question is: Can the BNP win the next elections given its weak organisational situation, let alone three consecutive ones?
Also, many of the proposals will require constitutional amendments, meaning they would have to have control over two-thirds in the Parliament.
Adding to the joke that is her “Vision,” Khaleda said the BNP always welcomes constructive criticism. I have to disagree with that statement, because her party has consistently rejected all forms of criticism. Let’s not forget that it is the same party that failed to uphold historical truths regarding the Liberation War and deliberately distorted history to suit their needs.
She is also proving that she will say just about anything to win votes. She says she will repeal the controversial Section-57 of the ICT Act, which is just a false promise to appease journalists. It should be noted also that the current government is already reviewing the section.
BNP’s promise of ensuring freedom of the press is something very difficult to believe. The way things went between 2001 and 2006 is proof of its “tolerance” towards the media.
On another note, forcing diplomats to sit down and listen to a two-hour long deliberation is rather discourteous, as well as robbing their valuable time. Her political and diplomatic advisers have failed her on this one.
Khaleda would do well to speak the truth and instead of deceiving voters by conveniently “forgetting” to mention how she is going to realise her Vision 2030. She is also not helping her own credibility, as she contradicted herself by refusing to speak to the press, as per usual, when asked to elaborate. I suppose that is the kind of press freedom the BNP believes in.
All opinions of senior journalist Nadeem Qadir, now minister (Press) in the Bangladesh, are his own and does not reflect the views of the Bangladesh government or the High Commission in London.