‘Find solutions on your own’

The UN envoy assigned apparently to break Bangladesh’s political standoff has insisted that the politicians have to find their own solutions.

“Solutions have to be home-grown,” UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez- Taranco told a crowded press briefing on Monday.

He left Dhaka after a four-day hectic parley with the stakeholders.

“We don’t have any formula, even we didn’t come to give any formula…..Rather we encourage (all) to seek solutions,” he said showing his optimism to Bangladesh’s people that he said had the capacity to find a solution.

But the Secretary-General’s emissary stressed that “the UN would continue to remain engaged” in the run-up to the elections.

Taranco was assigned by the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who he said was a ‘very close friend’ of Bangladesh’s two political arch-rivals Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia.

The two women heading the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP, respectively, have taken completely opposite stance over the nature of an election-time government.

Hasina insists on an interim government with elected representatives but Khaleda does not agree since it will keep her rival at the helm.

She is pressing for a return of the non-party caretaker government system her allies with political programmes including shutdowns.

Taranco met with both Hasina and Khaleda and handed over Ban’s letter to them. He met Khaleda twice, a gesture that went down well with the BNP leaders.

Vice-President Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury on Monday said BNP was ‘hopeful’ that Ban’s initiative would resolve the crisis.

In the briefing Taranco said during his four-day engagements with all interlocutors he had conveyed Ban’s ‘strong message’ about the urgency of a ‘more meaningful and constructive’ political dialogue.

“Quicker the dialogue starts, the easier it’ll be to find solutions,” he maintained and reminded Bangladesh of the consequences if failed to reconcile.

“History of Bangladesh indicates what the consequences could be,” he said. The first impact would be “on the very people of the country and economic opportunity, freedom and aspirations can be compromised”.

But the UN Secretary-General’s emissary was optimistic.

Opposition activists set fire in front of RDA Market after their procession came under attack, Rajshahi, Feb 14. Photo BDNEWS
Opposition activists set fire in front of RDA Market after their procession came under attack, Rajshahi, Feb 14. Photo BDNEWS

Bangladesh being “committed to the international peace and security” by sending troops to UN was ‘very important’ for them, he said.

“People of Bangladesh deserve rapid solutions.”

Democracy, maintaining stability, and promoting peace and development should be “priority of everyone” in Bangladesh, Taranco said and added that he found that feeling in everyone he spoke during his visit.

“Everybody recognises government needs to be such that the election can be held in a free, fair, transparent and non-violent manner,” he said, reminding all that “time is running out”.

Source: Bd news24

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