Dialogue remains a far cry

Special Correspondent

met01

A general strike enforced  by  the  opposition defying  the telephone  request  by  Prime Minister  Sheikh Hasina,    the  deaths  and  injuries during   60-hour  opposition  hartal  and  the  accusation  and  counter accusation from both sides – all  clearly  reflects the widening  difference  between  the  government and  the opposition.
After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s initiative for government-opposition dialogue fell flat due to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s refusal to withdraw  general strike and join a dinner  with Prime Minister at her official residence  Ganobhaban on Monday the much-talked-about dialogue now remains elusive with both sides reluctant to take a fresh initiative.
And  after  the  public broadcasting  of  a private telephone conversation of  two top leaders, the situation is getting all the more complicated, to the extent that the expected dialogue between the two top leaders of the country seems to be a distant dream.
It appears that AL is preparing for election even without BNP, and BNP is getting ready to go for harder programmes.
Meanwhile, opposition sources said  Khaleda Zia will not go to the Ganobhaban for talks and dinner until Sheikh Hasina agrees in principle to accept their demand for election under a non-party neutral government.
On the other hand, Sheikh Hasina is not willing at all to concede to opposition demand for  a caretaker government and sticking to her stand on holding the election as per constitution under an all-party interim government comprising elected public representatives  with  herself  the Prime Minister.
Ruling AL and many others have held the opposition responsible for these deaths, injuries and loss of property.
Meanwhile, the diplpmatic corps and  the business community  been expressing  their concerns  about  a  peaceful settlement  of  the dispute. They are  apprehending  that AL and BNP are heading for confrontation.

Source: Weekly Holiday

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