BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka yesterday called former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque a government loyalist, alleging that he did away with the caretaker government system “as per the government’s intention of rigging votes” in the next general elections.
“Former justices Sahabuddin Ahmed, Habibur Rahman and Latifur Rahman legalised the caretaker government system. Who you are to scrap it?,” Khoka said while addressing a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club.
The caretaker government system, which had overseen three parliamentary polls since 1996, was scrapped by parliament in June 2011 through the 15th amendment to the constitution following a Supreme Court order passed by ABM Khairul Haque.
Khoka came down heavily on the government for not being able to bring back abducted BNP leaders M Ilyas Ali and Chowdhury Alam, and for allegedly killing other party leaders and activists. He questioned the necessity of having government and law enforcement agencies.
“If the government fails to trace Ilyas Ali, what is the use of the government? What is the use of the home ministry? Why should we maintain law enforcement and intelligence?” the BNP vice-chairman said.
He cited the then-home minister and state minister as saying that Ilyas Ali would be brought back soon. “But the government has yet to bring him back,” he said.
He said the BNP and Ilyas’ family believe that the government intelligence agencies abducted him, urging the government to bring back BNP leaders Ilyas and Chowdhury Alam immediately.
Khoka said if the ruling party men think they would hold the next elections keeping the opposition leaders in jail, they were living in a “paradise of fools.”
He said: “Even if you abduct all opposition leaders and activists, the movement will not stop, as people have started raising their voices against your misdeeds.”
The convener of the Dhaka city unit of BNP warned of “dire consequences” if the government tried to hold the next elections themselves.
Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Rafiqul Islam Miah, Shomser Mobin Chowdhury and other senior leaders addressed also the discussion.