The US-based daily The New York Times has suggested the BNP must rein in its “violent base,” and sever ties with the Jamaat-e-Islami party and its street-power tactics.
Its editorial piece, “Bangladesh on the Brink,” published on February 12, also opined that the intransigence of the two major political parties is to blame for the ongoing political chaos in Bangladesh.
“Bangladesh is on the edge of political chaos, and the intransigence of both the ruling Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh National Party is to blame.”
“Unless both parties take immediate steps to pull back from entrenched positions, restrain the violent elements of their activist bases, and embark on a genuine dialogue to restore legitimacy to Bangladesh’s troubled democracy, the wave of violence engulfing the country risks spinning out of control.”
It added: “While perpetrators of violence need to be arrested and punished, Hasina’s hard line is only adding fuel to the fire. Hasina’s government must also hold accountable security forces guilty of abuses.”
Emphasising the need for dialogues between the two parties, it said: “The government must invite the opposition to negotiate electoral reform and a return to the democratic process. The future of democracy in Bangladesh is in the balance.”
Political tensions between the Awami League-led Government and the BNP-led 20-party alliance have been increased in January 2015 on the first anniversary of the January 5, 2014 parliamentary elections, which the BNP boycotted.
So far, more than 70 people have died and scores have been injured in different parts of the country in violence during the BNP-led alliance enforced non-stop blockade.
Of those, a large number of arson attacks are being conducted on highways. Hundreds of vehicles, including those belonging to law-enforcers, were burnt and attacked.
The BNP led 20-party alliance has been enforcing a non-stop nationwide blockade since January 5 in protest against the “confinement” of the party chief Khaleda Zia.
Khaleda Zia had been kept confined to her Gulshan party office since January 3 ahead of a party rally, marking “Democracy Killing Day.”
On January 12, the security was relaxed.
But Khaleda never came out; instead she said in a press conference that she was going to stay there and the blockade would continue unless the government took the first steps towards solution.
Source: Dhaka Tirbune