Terming her party’s coalition with Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is not a permanent arrangement. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in an interview with The New York Times has dropped a hint at reconsidering the ties with the Islamist party.
Though the government and the progressive force are demanding BNP sever ties with Jamaat right now, Khaleda told the inflectional US newspaper that she is not going to depart her key alliance, which has a tainted past of opposing the country’s independence, very soon.
“With Jamaat, it’s not a permanent alliance,” she said. Asked if she could end it, she said, “At this moment, I cannot, but when the time will come I’ll see,” the newspaper quoted Khaleda as saying.
The US daily published a report, headlined ‘Bangladesh’s Governing Party Wins Vote Amid Unrest’ with the interview of Khaleda on its online edition on January 6.
According to the news item, the former Bangladesh premier called Sunday’s vote a ‘farcical election’ and said she believed that the turnout had been closer to 10 percent amid the boycott of her party-led opposition alliance.
In the interview with the newspaper, Khaleda also said BNP is ready to start negotiations with the government if it creates a pleasant atmosphere by releasing the party leaders and workers who had been arrested in a pre-election crackdown.
“Yes, we’re ready to discuss, but first, they have to create a more congenial atmosphere” she said. “All the senior leaders, they’re in jail. I’ve so many workers, they’re in jail. Other senior leaders, they’re in hiding. They have to clear the atmosphere,” the BNP chief said.
The report mentioned that its reporter was allowed to interview the opposition leader after he was prevented by the government authorities at first time.
Amid the opposition’s allegation of keeping her confined to her residence, the law enforcers on January 3 barred the New York Times’ South Asian Desk bureau chief and political correspondent Ellen Barry from meeting Khaleda Zia.
However, he was allowed to meet her on January 3, a day after the country’s national election.
The report said Bangladesh’s governing party celebrated its victory in general election on Monday, dismissing critics who said the vote’s legitimacy was undercut by violence, low turnout and the absence of the country’s main opposition force from the ballots.
Ties with Jamaat not permanent arrangement: Khaleda