PM tells cabinet
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday told her cabinet colleagues that the people vocal about dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis were not saying anything about violence during the blockade enforced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led alliance.
Presiding over the weekly cabinet meeting, she asked why the intelligentsia were not raising their voice against firebomb attacks while pressing for the talks between the ruling Awami League and the BNP, said a minister.
She made the remarks a couple of days after a group of civil society members made a call for a national dialogue to resolve the political stalemate as at least 91 people were killed so far in violence during the blockade called by the BNP-led alliance on January 5.
Several senior ministers criticised the move for a national dialogue saying that some of the civil society members were also active during the takeover of the military-backed interim regime in January 2007.
Most cabinet members observed that the government should contain violence at any cost and face the BNP-led alliance politically.
Later in the afternoon, former chief election commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda on behalf of the civil society group sent a letter to Hasina requesting her to initiate ‘a national dialogue to resolve the national crisis.’
The information minister, Hasanul Haq Inu, also the Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal faction president, on Sunday said that there might be a dialogue for a permanent solution to the political crisis if the BNP stopped firebomb attacks and violence.
Some of the ministers suggested enacting a stringent law to check further deterioration of the law and order.
The law minister, Anisul Huq, however, told the cabinet that the administration should enforce the existing Anti-Terrorism Act and the Special Powers Act effectively, a number of ministers said.
These laws are tough enough to contain arson attacks on vehicles and other violence going on during the blockade, a cabinet member quoted the law minister as saying in the meeting.
Source: New Age