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20130106-khaleda-460Khaleda Zia is not known for writing columns in newspapers, neither at home or abroad. But now she has written one for ‘Washington Times’, calling upon the US and western nations to come forward to ‘save democracy’ in Bangladesh.

Her attack against her rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is vitriolic and her delight at the World Bank action against corruption in the Padma Bridge project is unconcealed.

She is also taking a dig at Hasina , saying she aspires for the Nobel Prize .

In the process, she seems to be seeking an useful ally in Nobel Laureate Mohammed Yunus who nurses grievances against the Awami League government for obvious reasons.  Which is why Khaleda in her column attacks Hasina for the treatment meted out to Yunus and goes on to laud the US Congress and its leaders for coming to the Nobel laureate’s defence.

But the key focus of the ‘Washington Times’ column is unmistakeable.

It pushes the agenda for restoration of the caretaker arrangement in Bangladesh constitution so that the parliament elections due this year can be held under a neutral dispensation.

She describes the provision as an ‘insurance’ that can effect peaceful transition of power if the regime changes.

Those who follow developments in Bangladesh are familiar with the way the BNP and its leader Khaleda Zia have pitched for the return of the caretaker arrangement ever since the Hasina government annulled it through the 15thamendment.

3The column in ‘Washington Times’ repeats the arguments that Begum Zia and her party has already made.

But the real catch of the column is different.

It is a bit of a trial balloon seeking foreign intervention to bring back the caretaker system, when the street protests and road blockades have not worked and the Awami League is safe in its huge parliamentary majority to knock out any bill that the BNP may be allowed to introduce for restoring the caretaker.

Which is why the BNP is not asking for just being able to place a bill for restoring the caretaker – it wants a guarantee from the government that the bill will be passed and Bangladesh constitution will get back its caretaker provision.

That is where Hasina seems to be in no mood to oblige – and that now sends the BNP chief to test the waters abroad , specially find out  how the West reacts to her appeal for ‘saving democracy’ in Bangladesh.

In the process, she praises India for her democracy and says that when Myanmar is emerging from military rule into a democracy, it would be a tragedy if Bangladesh slips into one-party rule or rather one-family rule.

But neither India whose democracy is sixty years old nor Myanmar where it is just restored have a caretaker system for holding elections. For that matter, neither the US nor the UK or any western democracy has a caretaker provision in their constitution. India has her Election Commission . But Khaleda is clearly worried that without a caretaker neutral administration, polls in Bangladesh will be rigged.

The US has recently conceded that its ambassador in Dhaka  Dan Mozena is actively mediating between the ruling coalition and the Opposition to break the deadlock created over the caretaker issue.

The million dollar question now is how Hasina and the Awami League reacts to Khaleda’s suggestion of foreign intervention on the caretaker issue.

Syed Bashir is a bdnews24.com columnist.

16 Responses to “Khaleda takes battle abroad”

  1. Nasir Uddin

    I didn’t like Khaleda’s piece nor do I like this one in bdnews24. Both articles are bias.

  2. Bithi Azam

    I don’t get it. If Sheikh Hasina complains to others it’s fine, but if Khaleda Zia does the same, hell breaks lose!

    • Gulam Jaigirdar

      This article came in Washington post at a time when the general people are thinking that an era will be an end if all the war criminals will be in a final trial. Complaining to US and UK is not a big credit for Khaleda but it is a shame of Bangladeshi people who are in US and UK and other European countries.

  3. Syed Aksanul Alam

    We should not compare the worse as did by the previous one. Let us go forward for facts. Those Whose family suffered in 1971, will feel the pain.

  4. Golam Arshad

    Wonderful! The Game is on… No Caretaker Government!! No Election. What goes around comes around. Remember it was Hasina who then forced Khaleda to yield to a Caretaker. Now she (Hasina) faces the same MUSIC. Will she (Hasina) yield,NO.. NEVER, she wants to prevail in POWER and even she cares less for any political consequence,tell you upfront, she will not hesitate to repeat the Failed February Shock as did her predecessor. What a Moment of Clash to Be in shingle Armour! Wait for the NEXT Surprise!!

    • reset

      Yes, AL did push for caretaker govt in 96 election but only because BNP championed election hijacking during its tenure. Not a single election was held fairly, each one was rigged blatantly. AL, however, did hold free and fair election during its tenure. So, the demand for caretaker gov’t has no foundation thus has very little public support which is obvious from the failure of the opposition movement. The whole article by Khaleda Zia reeks of one woman’s desire to grab power and plunder the country like she did twice before.

      • Golam Arshad

        Election NOW in Hasina’s tenure. A sham and a travesty of truth. Look what she has done with the Election Commission, totally under her whims and tutelage. I feel sorry for Kazi Raquibuddin, the Chief Election Commissioner, after a fairly brilliant stint as a Civil Servant, NOW became a horn to the the tune of Hasina’s deceptive magic. The whole premise of the Fifteenth Amendment to our Constitution has NO credibility it was executed in the spark and flash in style and fashion of BAKSAL (THE ONE PARTY RULE). So the Fifteenth Amendment is Controversial undemocratic, garnished with partisanship and lacked the Will of the People. Brute MAJORITY in Parliament brandished to stifle the Opposition has been deployed only to prevail in POWER! Be that it May, the LOSER is after All the Nation we dearly loved!

  5. Forhad Hossain

    BNP is not a political party, it’s a platform of all evils. Khaleda Zia came to power following the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She is an illiterate women — lying, conspiracy and killings are her weapon to do politics. Her platform contains, killers, corrupted and many fanatic groups backed by Pakistani ISI. She gets money from the ISI and helping the Islamic terrorists to fulfill their agenda in the disguise of democracy. This politician is extremely greedy for power and using this fanatic group against Awami League but can’t understand what will be the future situation of the county. She wrote this article to alienate Awami League from the international community, who is fighting against the terrorists.

    She has no public support and without conspiracy she won’t be able to win any election and that will be easy for her during caretaker provision. Being failed by Andolon, now applying Goebbels theory to misguide the International community against the present govt. The article is fable and in it 90% information are. false.

    • Saeed

      AL always think that people of our county are stupid. But we are not stupid. The election is upcoming.

  6. russel

    How can one lose her patriotism within a few years for power? Disgraceful. Conspiracy shouldn’t take over.Stop this kind of outcry for the sake of our nation.

  7. Masum

    Syed Bashir is talking rubbish. He sounds more of an Awami spokesperson than anything else. What Khaleda wrote is true. Just to refresh Bashir’s memory, Shekh Hasina when she was an opposition leader, she too wrote to all the foreign embassies to not to send money/aid to Bangladesh.

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