The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Front Page

No love lost between 'em

Hasina, Khaleda attend Armed Forces Day party, leave without talking

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, left, and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia, right, attend the Armed Forces Day reception at Senakunja in the capital yesterday but they did not meet each other even after being in the same hall at the same time. Photo: Focus Bangla

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia did not meet or exchanged greetings even though the two political archrivals attended the same programme yesterday afternoon.

Hasina and Khaleda stayed at the Armed Forces Day reception programme for around an hour at Senakunja but refrained from communicating with each other.

They only exchanged pleasantries and talked to other dignitaries at the programme in Dhaka Cantonment.

Speaker Abdul Hamid, who was also there, exchanged pleasantries with the opposition leader and called upon her to return to the ongoing parliament session.

Talking to reporters later on, Hamid said, the BNP chief assured him of considering his request.

Awami League chief Hasina and the BNP chief Khaleda seldom see each other or talk to each other.

Expectation was high among hundreds of dignitaries attending the programme that the two top leaders would at least exchange greetings.

Khaleda flanked by her security personnel and her defence adviser, press secretary and personal assistant reached Senakunja around 4:00pm while the premier reached just after 4:00pm.

The BNP chief was sitting beside Speaker Abdul Hamid.

When Khaleda was leaving around 4:50pm, journalists asked for comments but she refused.

Hasina stayed until 5:00pm.

In her speech, the premier talked about her government's various measures to modernise the three forces.

Khaleda skipped the Armed Forces Day reception in 2010 and 2011. She, however, attended the reception in 2009 during the first year of the Awami League-led alliance government.

Hasina and Khaleda were last seen together at the Armed Forces Day ceremony on November 21, 2009.

The two top leaders also attended an iftar party of Armed Forces Day that year where they had shared a table and exchanged pleasantries.

The Armed Forces Division organises a reception each year for the family members of the Bir Shresthas (highest award winners for gallantry) as well as some selected freedom fighters with other gallantry awards and their family members.

The three chiefs of staff and other senior officials of the Army, Navy and Air Force and a host of distinguished personalities attended yesterday's programme.

On the two leaders not talking at the programme, Awami League Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif in an interview with the BBC yesterday said, "I think there may be differences of political ideology between the parities but it cannot be desired that there would be no social interaction."

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "None of us want it [the two leaders not talking] for the sake of the county, politics and our future.

"If you want democracy in the true sense, you have to create a reciprocal relationship between political parties and leaders."

Prof Sirajul Islam Chowdhury of Dhaka University in his reaction to the BBC said, "It does not happen in parliament, in society and in occasions, so a division has been created…that reflects in politics and also in the society.

Share on


To avoid national embrassment, any national day of significance shall be organized in two sepeate functions-one for the prime minister and the other for the opposition leader so that the people are not harrased or forced to see this type of ugly news.

One might wonder whether a male prime minister and a male opposition leader would follow the same path and style in public view ?

Shame on both of them .

: neutral

Coming in the political arena by virtue of family connection (genetic/matrimony), this two churlish ladies can't care less about simple courtesy... that we take for granted. Politics is nothing but an art of compromise. They are no politicians.

: mohammad zaman


  • asad bulbul
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 06:51 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    If they used to talk then what happened! Nothing! Morning shows the day. They are in their late phase. They will nurture what they achieved. See our Human Development Index in the wikipedia then you will understand what they did/do for us.

  • amir Hamja
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 08:07 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    What can we learn from top political personalities; truly we are wordless for them.

  • Harun Rashid
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 08:15 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    Simply it is sad. Actually they both are the burden of our so called democracy. History will one day say they are the divider of the country. It is very unpleasant for me when I see our PM is always doing this. Seems to me she didn't inherit any thing from our great national leader father of the nation Bangabadhu Sheik Mujibur Rahman.

  • expariate
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 08:35 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    This is not democracy in true sense. If there is no interaction between the leaders who in fact control/ have controlled the nation, it only reflects their ideology and their mentality. If they can't interact with each other leaving politics aside when and where need be, it shows how much they are aware and how much they interact with the public. It is a pity shame for the nation to reflect just poor standard of leadership! It's in truly a sorry state of political bureaucratic mentality!

  • Mayen Uddin Tazim, former Advisor, UNDP
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 09:57 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    Maintaining the Political Culture and Norms are pre-requisite for upholding the democracy in a country like Bangladesh in which leaders in Power and Leaders in opposition both can contribute in promoting the social and economical development of the country. Definitely, our leaders know this simple philosophy of the democracy, therefore we do not need to remind or teach them to understand the above issues. The nation does hope that they will come to an alignment at an appropriate level in progressing the country altogether by forgetting all personal conflicts.

  • Syed Huda
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:27 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    40 years passed and still no love for their homeland. They have their own agenda to fulfill. We the real hard workings are left with no choice except choosing the goats.

  • M. K. Alam
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:30 PM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    Peace loving people of the country sincerely expected a moment when two top leaders of the country would talk and exchange pleasantry yesterday in the program of Armed Forces Day. But their behaviour portrayed the same attitude as an arch rival in our political history. But here the people believe that the responsibility of the PM is more than that of the leader of the opposition to come forward and break their dilemma People also believe that had there been two gentlemen one is PM and the other is Leader of the Opposition the situation would have otherwise

  • AKS
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:58 PM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    Typical rivalry like two village women, the country suffers.

  • Fazlul Karim
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 01:02 PM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    It is the real picture of our hostile political culture. To me, both two leaders should change such negative attitude if they believe in the politics for people.

  • Jumana Sarwar
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 12:43 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    The vulgar political culture coupled with lack of maturity and wisdom are hard to overcome. These two ladies are in fact represent what we really are- a divided nation across party line where truth and lie do not separate us.

  • Brig. A. Azeem Mallik
    Thursday, November 22, 2012 05:01 AM GMT+06:00 (168 weeks ago)

    Armed Forces Day is an occasion to show respect and gratitude to retired persons, juniors and seniors alike. Serving officers are to receive them. But now it has become a power platform. Ministers and senior serving officers, civilian dignitaries get all the attention. Poor retired officers stay far away.





The Daily Star

©, 1991-2016. All Rights Reserved