Jatiya Party Chairman Hussein Muhammad Ershad on Saturday renewed his call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia to start al dialogue to resolve the ongoing political standoff in the country.
Ershad also expressed his dissatisfaction at the lack of response to the letters he had sent to the two top leaders one and half months ago urging them to talk to find a way out of.
“I had sent separate letters to the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader. But there’s no positive feedback. There is no peace in Bangladesh. Except a fruitful dialogue, there’s no possibility of changing the situation.”
“Without talks, there’s no solution. I’m again urging you both to enter talks,” the former military strongman said, pointing to the two top ladies of Bangladesh politics.
Ershad, a key leader in the ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance, had written to Hasina and Khaleda in early April urging them to begin talks for a solution.
He said he did not intend to make personal gains from the move.
Ershad said he did not personally support the Awami League’s proposal to form an all-party interim government to oversee the general election.
“It will not be right since the BNP will not take part in the election if she (Hasina) holds the executive post. The election will not take place if the BNP doesn’t participate. We want the election be held and avoid conflict.”
Ershad also urged the BNP not to call a shutdown.
He said the people were tired of these frequent paralyses that hampered the country’s development. “Shutdown doesn’t bring benefits for anyone,” he said.
The former President said his party would participate in the general elections independently.
“I’m not dependant on anyone. With a growing following, we’ll not have to depend on anyone in the next parliamentary election,” he said.
Ershad, ousted in a mass uprising in 1990, criticised the government for blocking political rallies and meetings in the capital Dhaka over the next one month.
“It’s undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he said.
Ershad aired these views while meeting leaders of the Buddhist Youth Festival Forum at his party’s central office at Banani on the occasion of the Buddha Purnima, the biggest Buddhist festival.
Jatiya Party Secretary General ABM Ruhul Amin Hawlader and Presidium Council Members Tazul Islam and Faisal Chishti were also present.