Hoping for Heaven After Taking Lives
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the religious scholars and leaders to help the government in its fight to eliminate terrorism and militancy, thereby keeping peace, stability and development in the country undisrupted. Hasina made her remarks during her speech at the National Imam Convention and certificate distribution ceremony for children who participated in a cultural competition. The event was organized by Bangladesh Islamic Foundation on February 9 at the Bangabandhu International Convention Center. She said it deeply saddens her when she finds that some people take human lives in the name of Islam. The prime minister further said that she considers it a great sin when the killers claim that they would go to heaven after taking those lives.
Nurul Huda is a Committed Awami League Man
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said that the outgoing chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed has turned the joy of election into mourning and the nation will never forgive him. Rizvi said that the newly-appointed chief election commissioner is several steps ahead of Rakibuddin in terms of his loyalty to Awami League. He added during a press conference on February 10 that people do not have the confidence that the next election will be free and fair under him. He said it is apparent from his past records and comments made after his appointment that he is a committed Awami League man.
Hasina’s 100 Versus Khaleda’s 10
Shipping minister Shahjahan Khan was address - ing a meeting of Bangladesh Dome Samaj Unnayan Committee on February 7 when he said that if Sheikh Hasina should score 100 points for her qualification, efficiency and skill to run the state affairs, Khaleda should score 10. He said Khaleda will not be able to successfully run the country if that responsibility falls on her shoulders. He said that Sheikh Hasina has united the people of all castes, creeds and professions like Bangabandhu had united the people during the Liberation War. He reminded that the anti-independence forces were still active in the country, which has been proven by the rise of mili - tancy and persecution of women. He added that these are the work of those who are still longing for an undivided Pakistan.
When the Media Criticizes Him
Shameem Osman, the controversial lawmaker from Narayanganj, believes he is on the right track when the media criticizes him and he is on the wrong track when media speaks well of him. He said it at an event organized by Netrokona Jubo Awami League on February 8, when he further said that conspiracies are underway in the country to assassinate prime minister Sheikh Hasina. He continued that those who had distributed sweetmeats after Narendra Modi won in the election in India had also welcomed Hillary Clinton hoping that her victory in the US presidential election would pave the way for them to come to power in Bangladesh. Now that it has not happened, those people are conspiring to kill Sheikh Hasina, he added.
Scoring On an Empty Field
Former chief election commissioner Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmed left his job after completing his tenure of five years. While describing his experience with political boycott and violence in the tenth parliamentary election, he claimed that an anarchic and constitutional crisis would have arisen if the election of January 5, 2105 were not held. When explaining the record of Awami League candidates winning uncontested in that election after BNP boycotted it, Ahmed said that there are legal provisions that allow uncontested elections. He insisted that the Election Commission had nothing to do with it because it is a political game. It is only natural for one side to score on an empty field if the other side abstains from an election.
Reckless BNP Might Cause An Accident
Awami League general secretary and minister of road transport and bridges, Obaidul Quader, compared BNP with a reckless driver. He said BNP has turned into a reckless political party after it failed in election and political movement. The minister added that BNP might cause a political accident just like a reckless driver can cause an accident on the road. Quader was speaking at an event organized on February 10 by Dhaka Metropolitan Jubo League South. He also criticized the party leaders for not knowing what they do and what they say. He reminded the illiterate and half-educated people entering politics that they might successfully become bodyguards for the political leaders, but not political leaders themselves.
No Alternative to Referendum
Former adviser to caretaker government Dr. Akbar Ali Khan emphasized that there is no alternative to referendum if democracy has to be consolidated. He was speaking at a debate program held at BFDC in the capital on February 11 when he cited the example of Britain’s exit from the European Union. He said the British government did not take this decision unilaterally, rather left it to the people by holding a referendum. Dr. Khan said that since the people voted in favor of leaving the European Union, the government has agreed to implement it. He said democracy is not strengthened when everything is left to the political parties since certain things should be left with the people. Khan argued that a referendum should be held whenever there is controversy over a vital national issue.
“Only if Padma Bridge Could Speak”
Railway minister Mujibul Haque addressed the speaker at the parliament saying that only if the Padma Bridge could speak, only if God had given that bridge the power of speech, it would have told the name of prime minister Sheikh Hasina if asked about who has built it. The minister said it on February 8 when the lawmakers present in parliament greeted his remarks by pounding on their desks. Haque accused Begum Khaleda Zia of being jealous of Sheikh Hasina and said that Khaleda can never gain from her envy because the family of the Father of the Nation is comparable to a gold mine. The minister also said that Sheikh Hasina does not do anything to further her interests, but worries about the fate of people for 18 hours a day.
The Most Deprived Citizen of the Country
Acting editor of Dainik Amar Desh, Mahmudur Rahman, has resented that he is the most deprived of rights in the country. He said that he was even denied his right to seek medical treatment because he took a position for democracy, human rights, Islam and the Muslims. He was addressing a press conference on February 7 at Dhaka Reporters Unity when he added that he was critically ill after spending five years in prison. He also said that he needs to go abroad to get medical treatment and the court has given him the permission to travel to the United Kingdom only. He then mentioned that he was hurt but not surprised when the UK high commission rejected his visa application on a ludicrous ground.
Not Even Angels Can Satisfy BNP
Awami League’s secretary for publicity and publication affairs, Hasan Mahmud, quipped that BNP could not be satisfied with the formation of the Election Commission even if Allah Himself had sent the angels to do it. He criticized BNP’s dissatisfaction with the new EC while speaking at Dhaka Reporters Unity on February 9. He said the Search Committee had formed the EC with prominent people, yet BNP has raised questions about them. He further said that Allah could not satisfy the Iblis Shaitan, which is also true for the BNP.