Mentioning that political violence is not acceptable, US Ambassador Dan W Mozena on Sunday urged the government and the opposition to sit for a constructive dialogue to find out a solution to resolve the ongoing political crisis.
“The United States doesn’t want to see any political violence in Bangladesh. The first thing is to stop political violence… then the major political parties need to sit in dialogue to find out a way forward,” he said after a meeting with BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the evening.
The nearly one-hour-and-fifteen-minute meeting was held at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
Issues like the country’s latest political situation, Savar tragedy, possible dialogue with the government and the next general election came up for discussion at the meeting.
Talking to reporters, the US ambassador said the meeting with the BNP chief was as part of his ongoing outreaches with all of the major political parties.
The US envoy also had meetings with former president and Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad and Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam in recent times.
Mozena said his country believes in the democratic process and no political violence is acceptable to them. The United States also believes that all political parties have the rights to express their views peacefully and safely, the ambassador added.
No body has right to perpetrate violence against police or anyone else, Mozena said, adding that it is government’s duty to ensure security of its citizens.
Expressing the hope about the talks between the two major parties, he said it is easy to arrange the dialogue as the leaders of the both parties know each other.
Briefing the reporters about the outcome of the meeting, BNP standing committee member Abdul Moyeen Khan, who was present at the meeting, said Khaleda told the US envoy that the government must play a vital role in maintaining peace in the country.
“Peace can’t prevail in the country if they (govt) continue repression and oppression on the opposition. The government’s repressive acts against the opposition hinder the way for the dialogue,” Moyeen quoted Khaleda as saying.
The BNP leader said the opposition leader thinks the ongoing political violence erupted due to the government’s failure to run the state and its disrespect to the democratic norms.
Moyeen said Khaleda told Mozena that the government will have to take initiative for talks to resolve the political stalemate.
Emphasising the need for creating an environment for the dialogue, Khaleda questioned as to how dialogue can be held keeping top opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, behind the bars.
The BNP chief told the US envoy that the next general election must be held under a non-party caretaker government. “There’s no alternative to it.”