BNP


The current political problem in Bangladesh is primarily one of imagination. Obviously, neither Khaleda Zia nor Sheikh Hasina will accept an option that is total defeat for them. However, a study of the priority of the two leaders may allow us to glimpse what s solution to the current, bloody impasse may look like.

If Sheikh Hasina currently allows an election, she will lose. She will hand over the government to BNP for the next five years. She will certainly face many uncomfortable cases and inquiries about the BDR massacre, the Padma Bridge controversy, the atrocities committed by RAB in the days leading to and the aftermath of the 2014 election, the Share Market scam, and so forth. Moreover, given the age of both these individuals, it is highly likely that this would be the last time they would face off. Hasina understandably does not want to end with a defeat.

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In the current conflict of attrition between BNP and Awami League, AL’s main advantage is that it has the resources of the state to inflict as much damage as it can on BNP. Furthermore, the creation of RAB means that AL is able to hand-pick the most AL-leaning of armed forces men and send them on killing sprees, while the rest are kept cooped up in the cantonments. Against this, all BNP can hope for is to slowly unravel the unwieldy coalition of military and civilian bureaucrats and businessmen who are now currently keeping AL in power. In this conflict, as in most conflicts in Bangladesh, the situation favors the state.

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Sheikh Hasina is sitting in her chair at the Prime Minister’s Office. Suddenly, the head of SSF, or BGB, or the Engineering Corp for that matter, suddenly comes into her office and tells her that Tanvir Mohammad Twoki, a brilliant young student, has been murdered and that the suspicion is that the family of Shamim Osman is behind it. Hasina stays silent. Or perhaps, more realistically, she launches several blistering ad hominem attacks against the bearer of the news, Khaleda Zia, “shushil samaj,” and her pet peeves of the day. However, she doesn’t order any specific course of action.

Would that make her culpable for the murder of Tauqi?

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“How do we characterize or categorize the people of Shahbag? Who are the people of Shahbag? … What is the class character of this group, what excites or drives this group? Who they were during different periods of our history- how they were represented during different historical milestone of Bangladesh.”

© Arif Hafiz

© Arif Hafiz

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During the first week of Shahbag Square Movement, when the momentum and public passion for the movement was at its peak, the biggest opposition political party BNP’s discomfort with the movement was very clear.
BNP-Meeting20120826221928
BNP’s reaction was initial rejection and dismissal to a very uncomfortable embracing of Shahbag one week into its movement. However BNP was happy to get out of the painful embrace in the earliest opportunity. This opportunity came with the discovery of atheist blogs reportedly of slain blogger thaba baba. Very quickly getting rid of any lost love; BNP started denouncing Shahbag as an anti-Islamic movement.

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The opposition leader and former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Mrs. Khaleda Zia published an op-ed in the Washington Times. It is titled, The thankless role in saving democracy in Bangladesh – Corruption and stealing threaten a once-vibrant nation

Once a reader reads this piece, it leaves no scope of confusion in his/her mind that Mrs. Zia is appealing the USA to pressurize current Bangladesh rulers into becoming more democratic.

Without spending much time in introduction she jumps into a disguised complain by stating that USA is sitting idle while Bangladesh plunges into an autocracy and is shifting it’s economic alliance away from USA to China, India and Russia.
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