She is BNP Chairperson, three times elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh and on paper the leader of the opposition in Bangladesh parliament. She has all opportunity to dispute and debate all government’s plans and actions on the floor of the parliament. But In two and half years of present government she attended parliament for only 3-4 days.
But she is on the street. After few futile hartal’s other day on the street agitation after a so called Hunger strike she let out a war cry to unseat the government through Arab awakening type mass upsurge. Addressing a gathering of party loyalists and aligned groups on a day long hunger strike in Dhaka near Institute of Engineers Khaleda announced that there will be no more hartals. Instead she will lead rallies with people to unseat the democratically elected government through. She also announced that no election will be allowed to be held in Bangladesh without Caretaker Government. She and her party and alliance would resist any action to provide transit to India through Bangladesh.
Bangladesh government has recently passed 15th amendment of constitution. Among others it reinstated the 4 fundamental principles of 1972 constitution, restored values of the liberation war and following the highest court verdict scrapped the provision of care taker government. BNP led opposition did not participate in the parliamentary committee constituted to formulate amendment of the constitution nor they attended the dialogue. But after it has been passed she now declared to throw it into bins once back to power. But she does not understand that she has to participate in election based on present constitution and only on the basis of 2/3 majority in the parliament she can amend constitution again.
Khaleda Zia is the leader of the opposition in the parliament. As elected MP she is enjoying all facilities and privileges as the member of the parliament. She has abstained from Parliament. She has declared actions for scrapping constitution provision of caretaker government following the verdict of Supreme Court declaring it illegal. So her statement favouring continuation of caretaker Government directly goes against highest court verdict. Any sensible citizen has legal and constitutional right now to sue her for her statement. Khaleda perhaps forgot that her alliance had landslide disaster in election held under caretaker government. In recent times in no election under present EU there have been any credible allegations of state interference. So her statement favouring CTG and her declaration of no election under EU is unconstitutional. BNP or any party may or may not participate in any or many elections. But in reality BNP does not have organizational strength to oppose any election.
She talked about other issues. Present Energy crisis, power and water crisis are fall out of Khaleda’s own failures. In her last term she did nothing to meet emerging massive deficits. The depth and diversity of the crisis is so acute that it is taking more than expected time to overcome it. Khaleda if she considers herself peoples leader, she must suggest how to improve the situation. Instead she has let out her B and C teams to oppose government initiatives to explore and exploit own resources. Why she in her time did not work to set up required power generation plants? Why her government could not explore and exploit gas and coal resources?
Flying in and out of Shahjalal International Airport has now become risky for unplanned city growth. Airlines and International Aviation agencies are threatening to blacklist Dhaka Airport for it s vulnerability. A new modern airport has become essential. A carefully planned international airport at suitable place can turn Bangladesh an important hub of global air links. Why Khaleda has to oppose the initiative for a new modern International Airport?
There is a proposal for a special industrial zone at Sylhet for Indian Industrial giants. We have Korean EPZ in Chittagong. If Indian special zone creates massive job opportunity and ease huge trade imbalance with India, then why Bangladeshis should oppose? It is shallow minded cheap talk.
Her declaration for not pursuing any further hartal type destructive program has not emanated from her love of people. She found that recent hartals apart from creating nuisances brought no mileage for her evil design. People not only rejected these, but also resisted. Even her senior party leaders refused to join street agitations during hartal. But in any case we welcome her statement and hope that she remains true to it.
Present government has been voted to power through fair, free and credible general election for 5 years term. Despite some failures it is trying relentlessly to reconstruct Bangladesh from the ruins that Khaleda government left behind in 1996. No one can bring any Khaleda Government type corruption against any. No terrorist is killing elected MPs. No terrorists are carrying out grenade attack on Khaleda Zia rallies. Bangladeshi soil is not being used by any insurgents for hatching conspiracies against neighbours.
Government has initiated many milestone projects in Energy, Communication and other sectors. Relation with different countries including neighbours has started to improve. Many disputed issues with India are at the advanced stage of resolution. Teesta river water sharing treaty, Land boundary demarcation and exchange of enclaves may happen soon. India, Nepal, Bhutan may use Bangladeshi ports. Several initiatives have been taken to ease grid locks in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Implementation of Dream Padma Bridge will start soon. Why leader of the opposition instead of raising her disapproval in the parliament is behaving like paper tiger on the street? Can she tell what Bangladesh looses in allowing transit for India through Bangladesh? Will Bangladesh loose sovereignty by allowing transit? Bangladesh is trading through Indian corridor with Nepal and Bhutan. Why Bangladesh must not utilize the opportunity of gaining economically from it? Why Khaleda is not placing her proposal for resolving issues with India in the parliament?
Present Government has advanced slowly but steadily on the trial process of criminals against humanity. It has surfaced involvement of her two sons in money siphoning, involvement of her eldest son in August 21 massacre. People understand her heart burning for protecting the corrupt syndicates, plotters and masterminds of terrorist activities of her time. But people fail to understand what she meant for upstaging a democratically elected government through Arab Awakening type movement.
Perhaps the little informed leader does not know Arab Awakening is staged against corrupt autocrat regimes which very cruelly are trying to suppress spontaneous people’s movement. When her own son’s area alleged in corrupt, money laundering and abetting killers and terrorists how she can lead any such movement against still a very popular government?
Rather people must join movement to bring back all criminals and corrupt element that have fled from Bangladesh after carrying out massive corruptions and siphoning off people’s money. People must rally around initiatives to try War criminals and masterminds of terrorist activities killing innocent people.
Khaleda must thank present government that if after acting like a novice and spreading hatred and venom against ruling government she is not being put behind the bar for voicing disapprovals of highest court verdict. She is better advised to join parliament and try to keep government honest through honest objective criticism. She must also come up with better alternative proposals in the parliament and wait till next general election for taking peoples verdict.
Photo courtesy: First Photos