Vol. 5 Num 545 Thu. December 08, 2005  

Conflict-free politics a must to achieve progress
Speakers tell roundtable

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need for a conflict-free political environment to build a prosperous Bangladesh, and hoped that the leadership of the young generation would be able to create such an environment.

They also called on major political parties to change their attitude and develop broad-mindedness to eliminate the division among the politicians and reach a consensus on different issues for economic progress.

Janatar Chokh, a publication of the daily Manavzamin, organised the roundtable titled 'Projanmer Ekattur' at a city hotel where lawmakers, lawyers, academicians, freedom fighters, politicians and journalists discussed what have been achieved in the last 35 years after independence and what are the expectations.

Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University moderated the discussion.

Bar Council Vice-chairman Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud said that unless the politicians show respect to each other and sympathise with each other's feelings, the division among them would not be eliminated.

Referring to the political dialogue over the militancy issue, he said the government itself has to be more sincere in this regard. If necessary, the alliance partner in question has to be thrown out of the ruling alliance to pave the way for dialogue, he added.

Blaming the politicians for the controversy over the history of Bangladesh, Rokanuddin said the politicians should leave the job of teaching the new generation history to historians in order to end the controversy.

Tarique Rahman, senior joint secretary general of the ruling BNP, said that if proper reforms, policy and strategies are implemented, Bangladesh would achieve a strong economy and become a successful democratic country in the next 20 years.

Some policies have to be adopted to protect water and mineral resources, increase foreign investments, save cultivable lands and protect the interest of farmers and consumers, Tarique said in a written statement.

He also said reforms should be brought to the education system and science and technology-based education should be given a priority.

Referring to the militancy issue, Tarique said the trend of bomb attacks has started during the rule of previous government and it has now posed a new problem. In the past the attackers could not be identified, but now they are being identified, he added.

However, it is not possible for the government alone to root out the militancy, he said, adding that concerted efforts by all are a must to crush the militants.

Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Moinul Hossain Chowdhury noted with concern that history of the Liberation War is being distorted and the number of fake freedom fighters is increasing day by day. Such a trend must be stopped, he added.

Former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury said unity was the main driving force in 1971. Now the politicians have to rise over partisan politics for the greater interest of the nation, he said.

AL MP Sohel Taj said those who had opposed the Liberation War are now carrying out the bomb attacks. They should be identified and their politics have to be banned for the sake of the nation, he added.

BNP lawmakers Moazzem Hossain Alal, Gazi M Shahjahan Jewel, Rashiduzzaman Millat and Zahiruddin Shawpan, AL leader Sultan Mahmud Mansur, CPB leader Ruhin Hossain Prince, Asst. Prof. Rubaiyet Ferdous of Dhaka University, freedom fighter Ulfat Aziz, Jatiay Party (Monju) General Secretary Sheikh Shahidul Islam, JCD President Azizul Bari Helal, Chhatra Union President Baki Billah, Barrister Andalib Partha, filmmaker Mostafa Sarwar Faruqui, journalists Nadeem Quadir and Anisul Haque, economist Dr Ananna Raihan, Liberation War researcher Afsan Chowdhury, Fostina Periera of Ain of Salish Kendra and DCCI President Saiful Islam also spoke.

Chief Editor of the Manavzamin Matiur Rahman Chowdhury and Editor Mahbuba Chowhdury were also present.