Bangladesh Kalyan Party (BKP) yesterday alerted the caretaker government about insidious comments of few political parties or quarters about military forces “to provoke a face-off between the people and the armed forces”.
The newly floated political party, which is now 205-day old, made the suggestion during its dialogue with the government at the chief adviser's office as part of the ongoing consultations with the parties on transition from the current interim regime.
Asked to clarify the matter of people-military confrontation at a post-dialogue joint press briefing, BKP Chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed M Ibrahim said the chief of a big political party stated in the dock that they 'will see their end'.
The BKP chief interpreted that the word 'their' indicated the caretaker government and those backing this government.
As the caretaker government is not an elected government, the joint forces are rendering their hard labour in support of the interim government, he said.
On this score, Education Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman, who is working as the caretaker government's spokesman in the dialogues with the political parties, said the national dialogue would have to advance on the basis of objective statement considering overall statements.
Maj Gen (retd) Ibrahim, who led a seven-member delegation to the talks, said they stated in the dialogue that according to his party's evaluation, people's confidence in the caretaker government has been on the decline in the last 18 months.
The party suggested regaining people's confidence mainly in two ways: by introducing rationing system in rural and urban areas for the poor and apprising common masses, particularly rural people, in detail of the previous corruption and how it adversely impacted national life.
About the downturn in people's confidence, Zillur said history would consider the subject of popularity. “The present government is moving focusing on their responsibility,” he said, adding that they will certainly consider public concerns.
Replying to a question, the education adviser said there is no possibility of advancing parliamentary elections in October because of the factor of preparation. He, however, said elections for local bodies would not put any impact on national elections, slated for December.
The BKP proposed electing the president by people's direct vote or vote of electoral colleges comprising elected representatives from various tiers--like union parishad, municipality, upazila and the parliament.
It also strongly advocated for holding all local government elections, including upazila polls, before the general election, or upazila and parliamentary elections on the same day.
The BKP chief proposed that ethnic groups should be invited to take part in the dialogue.
He asked for inviting the Bangladesh Hindu League, the only political party representing the Hindu community, which has already appealed to the chief adviser in this regard.
He also suggested inviting Christian and Buddhist communities under coverage of the civil society, as they have no political party of their own.
The other proposals in their 9-point proposition put forward in the dialogue include comprehensive administrative reforms, balance of power between lawmakers and ministers, ministers and the prime minister, and the prime minister and the president.
They sought amendment to the Constitution to be done by the next elected parliament, and before that, some work can be done through forming Constitution Review Committee, changing the word 'Sanad' in national charter for consensus or policy framework, bicameral parliament, enough power to the army and law-enforcing agencies before and during the election to check violence.
Moreover, they called for holding the stalled general election within the timeframe of roadmap “to avoid crisis of confidence”, and starting the trial of war criminals.
The BKP thanked the government, the Election Commission and the army for their efforts in preparing voter list with photographs.
Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed along with three advisers concerned was present at the dialogue.
This was the 16th round of the ongoing dialogue between caretaker government and political parties and different stakeholder groups.
The education adviser informed that they would hold talks with minor groups of population in Khagrachhari on June 27.
He said the first rural and urban regional dialogue would be held in Chittagong on June 28. Dialogue with Jatiya Party will be held on June 30 while with Awami League on July 3.
Communications Adviser Ghulam Quader, Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff, BKP Secretary General Abul Kalam Azad and other leaders of the party, including Mohammad Ali Sarker, Momtaz Begum and Abdul Hannan Palash, were present on the occasion.