(BNP Communication) — On behalf of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and as approved by the Party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, the BNP delegation headed by its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir presented the following statement with the party recommendations and annexure thereunto before the Chief Election Commissioner and the other Election Commissioners on October 15, 2017 at the Election Commission Secretariat, Election Bhaban, Agargaon, Dhaka.
Letter No.: BNP/EC/2017/10 Date: 15/10/2017
You are aware that Bangladesh Nationalist Party–BNP is one of the major and largest political parties of the country. The party sincerely believes that in a democracy, election is the only recognized system of people’s empowerment. BNP has taken part in all free, fair and credible elections and was mandated several times by the people to form government and run the country. BNP is firmly committed to protect people’s right to vote.
An independent, neutral and effective Election commission is undeniably the driving force for holding a free, fair, neutral and inclusive election. But elections held in the recent past, particularly the farcical 2014 election, and the subsequent local government elections and other elections that are still being held prove to be blatantly questionable. The Election commission miserably failed to demonstrate to the people any semblance of its neutrality, impartiality, fairness and honest resoluteness. In all these elections EC miserably failed to discharge it’s legal and constitutional obligations. What has happened in the name of election and still what is happening in reality only justifies our demand for an Election time Facilitator Government and formation of a neutral Election Commission. It also justifies our decision to boycott the voter less Jatya Sangsad Election in 2014.
These electoral farces have literally exposed the malafide intentions of the government to repeal the 13th amendment of the constitution, ie, the Care-taker System of the Govt.
The Election Commission has of late prepared a road-map for holding the National Election. Though there is much criticisms about the road-map, we are for the time being keeping the activities of the Election Commission under close watch. We on behalf of BNP do hereby present the following few proposals for consideration of the Election Commission for holding a free, fair, neutral, credible an acceptable and inclusive election under the prevalent political reality:
- Forming Neutral Facilitator Government For Election Time:
In Bangladesh, the Prime Minister monopolizes all powers. The country has witnessed over the last few years that a free, fair and credible election is not possible under such a partisan Prime Minister concentrating all powers in her hand, where government and administration are controlled alone by the Prime Minister. Under such circumstances it is not possible to hold a free, fair, neutral, inclusive and credible election without a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time. In order to hold a free, fair, credible and participatory election a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time is a must. This is the solemn demand of the people and the political parties. Bangladesh Nationalist Party- BNP will shortly present before the nation an outline and framework of the Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time. We will formally hand over our proposed outline to the Election Commission as well.
- Level playing field for all parties and candidates:
The following are our salient proposals for creating a level playing field in the national parliamentary election for all parties and candidates:
- Holding of Jatya Sangsad election after dissolution of Parliament:
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh, the apex court in the country, has recently termed the present parliament as “Dysfunctional” and “Immature”. On the other hand the ruling party’s past parliamentary records are also very worry-some. They have snatched away the voting right of the people time and again. They established one party system (BKSAL Government) through appending 4th amendment to the constitution and also blocked the path of free and fair election, and peaceful transfer of power by repealing the care-taker govt. system through 15th amendment of the constitution. The people of our country witnessed all these nefarious and despicable misdeeds of the government. In the present political reality of Bangladesh, it is not possible to have a free fair and credible election keeping the incumbent parliament alive, ignoring all the established norms and traditions of parliamentary democracy. Under the above circumstances, the incumbent parliament must be dissolved at least ninety (90) days prior to holding of the national election. And all necessary steps have to be taken to ensure holding of the next Jatya Sangsad election under a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time.
- Government has to initiate dialogue with political parties:
The highest Court of Bangladesh has opined that an effective parliament cannot be established without neutral and intervention free parliament election. The highest court has observed, ÔIn the absence of credible election, a credible parliament cannot be established’.This means that a credible parliament cannot be formed without a credible election. At present, it is impossible to have a credible election under one party government. In order to have a free fair and credible election under a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time, the government must initiate dialogue with all political parties. In this regard, the Election Commission must play a positive role.
- All cases filed against opposition political leaders and activists have to be withdrawn and all imprisoned political leaders and activists must be released:
- Under the military backed 1/11 Emergency Rule, innumerable cases were filed against many leaders and activists of different political parties and many were awarded sentence of different tenures. After coming to power through a stage-managed farcical election in 2008, Awami League government, through different tactics, had withdrawn/dissolved more than 7000 such cases against their senior leaders and activists including the Prime Minister and some other Ministers.
But the cases filed during the same reign against BNP leaders and activists including BNP Chairperson and senior leaders have neither been withdrawn nor dropped, rather the proceedings of these cases are now being vigorously accelerated with malafide intention.
- After coming to power through a stage-managed voter-less farcical election, the self-declared ruling government has filed large number of false and fabricated cases to harass leaders and activists of the opposition political parties specially those of BNP with a heinous political intension. On the other hand, the leaders and activists of the government party and its associates are getting scot free despite committing heinous crimes like murder, injury, robbery, and oppressing of women.
- Moreover, the leaders and activists of opposition political parties are being uninterruptedly terrorized through enforced-disappearance, murder, injury and harassment through filing false cases to keep them out of the electoral process with an evil design.
It is therefore demanded that-
- To ensure a free fair and credible election through creation of level playing field, all cases lodged against leaders and activists of opposition political parties, especially those of BNP during unconstitutional 1/11 Emergency Rule have to be withdrawn.
- All false and fabricated cases filed for harassment during the rule of the present government against opposition party leaders and activists must be withdrawn. And all political leaders and activists arrested with reference to these cases must be released unconditionally.
- Now a days, police show hundreds of unknown persons as accused’s in false and fabricated cases and later arrest targeted opposition leaders and workers with reference to those cases. This must be stopped.
The Election Commission shall have to take extra initiative and take effective measures to ensure that the above demands are fulfilled.
- The right to carry out normal democratic political activities should be restored immediately:
The current Prime Minister as head of the ruling party has formally kicked off her party’s Preparation for Election. The Prime Minister, and other ministers and senior leaders have already started election campaign without any hindrance, by misusing all government protocol, official facilities and privileges. On the other hand the opposition parties including BNP are not getting permission to conduct any political or organizational activities. Due to government obstruction, the opposition political parties cannot assemble within the four walls of a house for holding even any social ceremonies. Even a religious function like an Iftar Party and humanitarian activities like distribution of relief among the distressed, are being obstructed.
Under the above circumstances, from now on normal democratic right of all political parties must be ensured to hold public meetings, assemblies and all other political activities. Necessary measures have to be taken to ensure that the administration refrain from showing discriminatory attitude/behavior to any party.
- Administrative Affairs:
- The present government has heavily politicized the administration. The present day administration has lost its balance. Different coercive measures are being adopted by the government to extract open loyalty of the administration. In this regard, the highest court of the country has also pointed out that mismanagement in the administration has assumed a staggering proportion.
The upcoming election must, therefore, be protected and freed from the partisan officers and the inevitable baneful effect of such circumstances. To achieve this goal, the administration has to be made free from the influence of party politics.
- On the declaration of election schedule, all contractual appointments in government, semi-government, autonomous organizations and in the Foreign Missions have to be cancelled/terminated.
- In pursuance of Article 126 of the constitution and section 5 of the RPO 1972 (Representation of People Order), all relevant and important ministries like Home, Public administration, Finance, Information, Defense, Local Government, Education, Primary and Mass Education, External affairs, Agriculture, Health and Family welfare etc, from 90 days ahead of election till the new elected government takes over, shall remain bound to act and take effective measures according to the demand by the Election Commission.
- During election period, all decisions relating to election has to be taken by the decisions of the Election Commission. No decisions shall be taken individually by the Chief Election Commissioner or any other Commissioner alone.
- No controversial or partisan persons shall be given any election related duty. Especially, the Metropolitan Police Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners of the Districts, Superintendents of Police, Metropolitan Deputy Police Commissioners, UNOs, and officers-in-charge of all police stations have to be withdrawn/changed. Transfer and posting of all these officers shall remain under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Election Commission. It has to be ensured that honest, efficient, and professional officers are posted to these posts.
- No officer who worked in different capacities during last 5 years in a metropolitan city/district shall be posted as Police Commissioner/DC/SP in the same cities/districts. In the same manner those who served in any capacity in an upazilla/thana during last 5 years will not be posted as UNO/OC in the same upazilla/thana, as the case may be.
- After posting or appointment, if an officer is found manifestly partisan to any political party, he should be immediately withdrawn from his duty; disciplinary action should be taken against him according to service rules and he shall not be reassigned any election duty whatsoever.
- Management committees of all the educational institutions shall be dissolved six months prior to the election and replaced by the local administration.
- Use of Voting Machine:
Most of the countries in the world that used EVM/DVM for voting in their elections have been subjected to wide spread vote rigging and manipulation. These countries have seen blatant proof of misuse of voting machines. Bangladesh Nationalist Party strongly opposes use of EVM/DVM for voting, and its objection to the use of EVM/DVM for voting has been in the meantime communicated through a formal letter to the Election Commission. Copy of the letter is annexed. Bangladesh Nationalist Party would like to reiterate that under no circumstances any EVM/DVM or any machine of this sort shall be used in the election process in the national elections.
- Delimitation of the constituencies:
Delimitation of the constituencies as existed prior to 2008 national election must be restored. BNP in June 2017 submitted a letter to the Election Commission justifying its demand for such restoration. Copy of the letter is annexed. Opinion and advice of political parties/alliance have to be obtained before hand in case of deviation, if any, at all. In the election road-map recently published by the Election Commission, it is mentioned that the law or delimitation of the constituencies will be finalized in February 2018. In the same document it is also mentioned that the delimitation of the constituencies must be completed and Gazetted by December, 2017 which is contradictory, illogical, and unacceptable.
- Proposed Amendments to Representation of People Order, 1972 (RPO):
We are presenting certain proposals for the amendment to/addition of various clauses of The Representation of the People Order, 1972 (RPO) in attachment form (Annexure-A). Some of the most obvious and important amendments/additions are as follows:
- Deployment of Defense Forces for carrying out election duties:
“Defense Services of Bangladesh” must be reinstated as a ‘Law Enforcing Agency’ along with other forces, in Article 2 (XIaa) of “Definition Clause”. Defense Forces must be deployed in every constituency for electoral duty with magisterial power at least one week prior to election and till the newly elected government takes over. They will perform intense patrol duty along with polling center on the day of election.
- To ensure proper execution of election rules and regulations, Election Commission’s first class gazetted officers shall be vested with magisterial power.
- Visible water mark must be used in ballot paper without affecting distinctiveness of the symbol of the political party and or any candidate.
- The officers of the Election Commission must be given priority while appointing the Returning and Assistant Returning Officers so that the control of the Commission is strengthened.
- Initially, a draft list of the voting centers shall be published. After active consideration of the opinion, objection and demands of the candidate and voters of respective constituency, a final list has to be published within the specified time.
- While preparing the panel of election officers/polling officers, information regarding them in a relevant form shall be collected for ensuring transparency. A suggested form’ is annexed. No controversial officer shall be included in the panel. Presiding Officer or Assistant Presiding Officer shall not be given election duty in his own workplace or his own constituency/upazilla. The polling officer shall not be given any responsibility in his own union parishad/municipality, or in his own ward in a city-corporation.
- At least fifty (50) days must be given for submission of nomination, scrutiny and withdrawal of nomination paper and election campaign. Especially for nomination submission, minimum ten (10) days shall be given after the publication of the declaration of election schedule, and at least 21 days shall be given for election campaign after the day of withdrawal of nomination papers.
- While submitting nomination paper, the relevant candidate need not submit any certificate pertaining to his nomination by a political party. On or before the date of nomination paper withdrawal, the candidate shall submit to the concerned Returning Officer a certificate containing the name of the nominee of the relevant political party for the respective constituency, under the signature of the chief of the concerned political party, or under the signature of the authorized person of the relevant chief of the political party. To this end, necessary amendments/changes will be made in the relevant laws, rules and nomination forms.
- a) In addition to the existing provision of submitting nomination papers to the Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer, provision shall be ensured for submitting nomination paper to the Election Commission and also online.
- b) Provision of depositing ‘Cash’ money as security deposit with the nomination papers shall be rescinded. The security will be deposited solely in the form of bank draft/pay-order/treasury
- In order to withdraw nomination papers, the candidate must be present in person, and if the candidate is in prison, his nomination shall be withdrawn in writing through proper channel of the appropriate authority, in physical presence of his nominated representative having the incumbent’s written authorization. During scrutiny of the nomination papers, if any question arises about the authenticity or accuracy of the proposer’s or seconder’s signature, the physical presence of the respective proposer/seconder shall be required to settle the issue and a legal decision shall be made accordingly.
- A provision shall be added to the Representation of People Order (RPO), 1972 so that a candidate can appoint one election agent each for every upazilla, metropolitan thana and its fraction, if any, under relevant parliamentary constituency.
- a) In polling centers, all extra empty ballot boxes, ballot-filled ballot boxes, and ballot boxes in use shall be placed and preserved within the sight of the Assistant Presiding Officer, Polling Officer, and polling agents. The number of ballot boxes and the number imprinted in the body of the ballot boxes shall be demonstrated to the polling agents.
- b) On completion of the voting, counting process of the ballots shall be started immediately and the counting process shall be completed without any break in presence of all polling agents. On closure of the counting, the Presiding Officer shall not leave the polling station without handing over the final Result Sheet under his official seal and signature to each of the agents present in the polling Centre.
- The returning officer shall ensure announcement of unofficial results of every constituency on the day of polling as fast as possible after consolidating the results of all constituencies in presence of the candidate or his representative. The Election Commission will publish the Official Gazette of the winning candidates within 48 hours of the completion of voting.
- With the announcement of the election schedule, a ‘Complaint Redress Centre’ will have to be operative in each office of the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning Officer, District Election Officer and every upazila/thana Election Officer. Election related complaints or grievance shall be addressed or disposed of within 12 (twelve) hours of receiving the complaint and the complainant will be notified of the result/action taken in writing.
- After the declaration of election schedule, all members of the law enforcing agencies in every constituency shall use a visible name, rank badge and uniform while performing their duty. No member of the law enforcing agency shall perform their duty in plain cloth.
- Recommendations for amendment to the Conduct of Election Rules, 2008:
Our recommendation for amendment to/addition of Conduct of Election Rules, 2008 is annexed herewith. Some of the note-worthy recommendations are as follows:
- Amendment to form 1 of the nomination paper of the candidates in election of Jatya Sangsad: The 6A of Section 3 of the Conduct of Election Rule 2008 is to be amended as follows:
‘The candidates of a political party’ is to be substituted by ‘candidates of political party/alliance’ and the words ‘the nomination in favor of my political party is hereby added’ shall be deleted.
- The list of the valid candidates must be published immediately after the scrutiny process is over.
- While distributing the election materials for every polling center, a photocopy of the delivery invoice containing the number of ballot paper and ballot boxes shall be handed over to the candidate or his agent. It will enable the candidate or his agent to verify and cross-check with the invoice the ballot paper and the ballot boxes actually supplied in the center.
- No symbol shall be given to a candidate or a political party which resembles or appears to resemble the existing and reserved/earmarked symbol of any registered political party.
- Proposals for amendment to the Code of Conduct (for political parties and candidates), 2008:
The Code of Conduct 2008 for the political parties and candidates should be amended as follows:
- After the declaration of Electoral Schedule, the respective Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer will have to be entrusted with the authority to accord permission to all political parties and candidates for holding meetings, rallies and assemblies to ensure equal rights.
- The privileged government Personnel and VVIPs included in the definition of political party and candidates Code of Conduct in clause 2 (11) is a great hindrance to creating level playing field in the election. These words giving privilege to the important persons and VIPs must be dropped from the Code of Conduct. It goes against the principle of creating equal opportunities for all. Nobody should be given any opportunity to go for election campaign under the guise of a VIP/VVIP.
- a) In case of the parliamentary election, ‘Pre-election Time’ will mean ninety (90) days ahead of the election; and in case of election in the vacant seat it will encompass a period from declaration of schedule date till publication of the election results in the official Gazette. This re-definition as to the ‘Pre-election Time’ has to be incorporated in the relevant clauses in the Rules.
- b) On the beginning of ‘pre-election time’, orders must be issued for depositing all legal arms. All illegal arms have to be recovered without being politically motivated.
- Proposals for amendment to Political Party Registration Rules, 2008:
Our recommendations for the amendment to Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 are attached. Some of the important amendments are:
- The Election Commission shall not, twelve (12) months prior to completion of the term of the Jatya Sangsad, publish any notification or invite applications for registration for a new political party intending to participate in the Jatya Sangsad Election.
- The Sub-Rule (5), (6) and (7) of Rule 7 of the Political Party Registration Rules 2008 must be rescinded. Because, there is a scope for filing application for registration of new political parties under Sub Rule (1), (2), (3) and (4) of the Rule 7 of Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 which is also inscribed in Section 90D of The Representation Of The People Order, 1972.
- Policy/Guideline for appointment of local and foreign observers of Jatya Sangsad Election:
Observers from home and abroad have been playing vital role in holding fair and acceptable elections. We are furnishing the following underlining proposals so that transparency of local observers in the country’s election monitoring activities and, Transparency and arrival of encouraging number of foreign observers can be ensured:
- Appointment of national and local level observers during election time:
- The local election observer groups intending to observe election should be registered with concerned Bangladesh legal authority as per rules at least 3 years prior to the election.
- Any leader or worker of a political party or any person demonstrating open loyalty to any political party, or any organization or body under his/her control or any person working under that organization shall not be eligible to be enlisted and appointed as election observer.
- The Election Commission shall enlist election observer bodies or election observing persons at least 30 (thirty) days prior to the announcement of election schedule.
- The Election Commission will publish the names and identity of all enlisted national and local election observer bodies and persons engaged for any particular constituency and/or area within 7 (seven) days of announcement of election schedule.
- No local observer shall be allowed to work in his own electoral/polling area. No person or organization shall be given any duty as election observer who are manifestly partisan to political parties or manifestly loyal to any political leader.
- Regarding appointment and deployment of Foreign Election Observers:
- To ease and facilitate visa procedure for foreign observers, a ‘One-Stop’ service shall be established under the supervision of Election Commission at the Election Commission Secretariat, with appropriate representatives from Ministries of Home and Foreign affairs.
- For assisting the foreign observers, a ‘Help-Desk’ shall be set-up in the airport. The foreign observers shall be provided with a copy election guide-map from the airport. Necessary security arrangements is to be ensured for the foreign observers.
- On updating the voter list:
Our recommendation for updating the voter list is as follows:
- Inclusion of expatriate Bangladeshis in the voter list:
The expatriate Bangladeshis are very eager to be enlisted as voters. At present they cannot exercise their voting rights. Considering their long outstanding demand to become voters and considering their contribution to our national economy, the expatriate Bangladeshis must be enlisted as voters. It’s worth mentioning that expatriates in many democratic countries have opportunity to become voters.
- To include all eligible citizens in the voter list:
There is an allegation that updating of voter list has not been done appropriately, although the enumerators are supposed to go door to door for updating the voter list. Under this situation, it must be ensured that all persons eligible to be voters are invariably included in the voter list.
- The names of the deceased must be deleted from the voter list.
- Enlisting every imprisoned citizens in the voter list:
Every person eligible to be enlisted as voter must be registered as voter in the voter list. All political leaders and workers who are eligible to be voters, but are now being detained in prison/custody/detention, their names must be included in the voter list in the process of updating the voter list. Other persons who are imprisoned but eligible for being voters must also be included in the voter list.
- The voter list containing photographs of the voters, which is supplied to the election official in the polling center, the same voter list containing photographs of the voters must be supplied to the contesting candidates and their election agents.
- There is an allegation that, in many cases, photographs of the voters in the voter list are hazy and obscure. In some cases, photographs have been posted under wrong names. While updating the voter list, all complaints should be entertained to determine and ensure the correctness of the voter list.
- All persons whose names appear in the voter list should be allowed to exercise their voting rights, on the very strength of the voter list, without any hindrance.
- Training on Election Laws and Rules:
- The Election Commission will arrange to impart training to the District and Upazilla level workers/prospective polling agents of the political parties on Election Laws and Rules & Regulations.
- The Election Commission will direct the District and Upazilla administration to extend necessary assistance and cooperation to the political parties in holding training to their election and polling agents. The Election Commission will take effective measures to ensure necessary security for the training programs arranged by the political parties.
- Voter awareness campaign:
During last few years, general voters developed fear, uncertainty, apathy and a kind of distrust about the total election process in Bangladesh. In view of this disarray, effective arrangement will have to be taken to organize Voter Awareness Program to encourage the voters to come to the polling center to exercise their voting rights without fear or intimidation.
- Deployment of the Law Enforcing Agencies:
- In order to ensure transparency in the deployment of law enforcement agencies in the polling station, a committee will have to be formed in each District and Metropolitan area comprising of respective Returning Officer, Deputy Commissioner of the District, Deputy Police Commissioner, Representative of the Defense Forces, Superintendent of Police, Representative of the RAB, Ansar-VDP Officer and where applicable, the Coast Guard and BGB representatives. This committees will deploy law enforcing agencies in every polling station objectively in an impartial manner considering the political reality and the situation obtaining in the area.
- Ansar and VDP members belonging to a village or ward or where they are voters shall not be deployed in their own ward/village/polling center for duty on the Election Day. It should also be ensured that the member of the law enforcing agencies thus deployed are not in any way associated with a political party or a candidate.
- Currently, a party cadre force comprising of ruling party activists has been created under the guise of ‘Community Police’. Such members of the community police should not be allowed to perform any duty relating to election. Any person wearing a dress or uniform inscribed with ‘Security Personnel’ must not be given any duty or responsibility in the polling center.
- On Media:
All media so far shut down and closed and/or declared barred to be reopened should be made operative. During election time, equal campaign facilities and other opportunities for all political parties and candidates must be ensured in all the print and electronic media. Freedom of press and media must be ensured. The controversial Article 57 of the ICT Act must be repealed.
- On Mobile Network:
- Mobile network shall remain open on the Election Day. Internet service shall continue uninterruptedly and the speed of the bandwidth must not be reduced or limited in any manner. Social media must be allowed to play free and must not be in any way restricted. The Election Commission should give necessary instructions in this regard and ensure its implementation.
- Controversial persons in the government, semi-government, and autonomous bodies who can intercept through BTRC, BTCL, BSCCL, mobile phone and social media should be replaced with neutral and efficient professionals.
- All concerned mobile operators shall be bound to provide the Election Commission with the call list and recorded conversations of the officers assigned to election duty (including those of the members of the law enforcing agencies) during ‘pre-election time’. Necessary directives have to be issued promulgating that video, still pictures, and news and information released/published in print and electronic media shall be acceptable as evidence in election related offences.
- Installing CC Camera in Polling Centers:
All polling centers shall have to be equipped and covered with necessary number of CC Cameras. All cameras set in the offices of Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, and Presiding Officer’s should be monitored in presence of the candidate’s authorized agents.
- Measures to contain use of black money and muscle power in the election:
Use of black money and muscle power is a serious impediment and obstacle to holding of fair and neutral election. The Election Commission will take objective measures to resist use of black money and muscle power in the elections.
- Entry-pass to enter Election Bhaban:
At present, there is unwritten restriction on representatives of political parties from entering Election Bhaban. On the other hand pepresentatives of political parties need to enter into Election Bhaban for election purpose. Every political party should be issued at least ten (10) entry passes to enter the Election Bhaban. The entry passes may be issued in favour of the Secretary General/General Secretary of the party. BNP had recently sent a letter to Election Commission to this effect (Annexed).
- Implementation of the suggestions made by political parties and civil society representatives:
The Election Commission has by now held dialogues with the members of civil society, representatives of the political parties and the media. As per media report, in order to hold a free fair and credible election, the esteemed representatives in their discussion highlighted strong arguments in favour of establishment of a Neutral Facilitator Government for Election Time, holding of election after dissolution of the parliament, deployment of the Armed Forces during election time, creation of level playing field for all political parties and ensuring a neutral administration free from influence of political parties. We are very respectful to the valuable opinions expressed in the dialogue by the civil society, the journalists and the political parties. We are thankful to them for their considered opinion. For ensuring a free fair and credible election, these valuable recommendations of the members of the civil society, the journalists, the political parties and other stakeholder must be taken into positive consideration. Because, the people of the country very genuinely intend to see fruitful and effective implementation of the advices/ recommendations put forward in the dialogues.
In order to ensure proper implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations, we have attached herewith some amendment proposals in the form of annexure and attachment, relating to election related laws, rules and regulations. We do believe that, if the Election Commission would put in sincere and objective consideration, it is very much possible to implement these proposals for the greater national interest of holding a free, fair, credible and inclusive election.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party–BNP is firmly committed to the idea of consolidating democracy through holding a free, fair, acceptable, /and/ credible/ inclusive election. BNP wants to sincerely cooperate with the Election Commission to ensure holding of a free fair and credible election. To restore peoples’ right to franchise and to ensure transparent and acceptable election procedure, BNP would like to place before the Election Commission, if necessary, some constructive recommendations and advice from time to time.
Due to controversial and dubious role of the outgoing Election Commission, the people at large totally lost their trust and confidence on the Election Commission. The people saw the Commission as a surrogate of the ruling government- they haplessly marked it as ‘His Master’s Voice’. The present Election Commission has to move out of this vicious cycle to regain the confidence of the people. We want to genuinely believe that the road-map given and the dialogues held by the Election Commission will not trifle into mere eye-wash, The Election Commission itself has to ensure that all these maneuvers are not mere farcical time buying exercise.
The Election Commission is an independent constitutional body. Its responsibility is not to hold a routine, hackneyed or stereotyped so-called election just for the sake of holding it. The solemn responsibility of this constitutional body is to present the nation with free, fair, neutral, credible, acceptable and participatory elections. The entire nation look forward to your utmost sincerity, efficiency, competence courageous and fearless strides for holding a free, fair, neutral, credible and inclusive elections in the days ahead.
(Annexure as stated).
We wish you every success.
Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
Bangladesh Nationalist Party – BNP
Mr. KM Nurul Huda
Chief Election Commissioner
Bangladesh Election Commission
- Election Commissioner (All), Bangladesh Election Commission
- Secretary, Election Commission Secretariat, Election Building, Agargaon, Dhaka-1207
Attachment: As stated (23 pages)
Appendix -A: The Representation of the People Order, 1972 (RPO) amendment proposal (page 11).
Appendix-B; Selection Conduct Rules, 2008 Amendment Proposal (3 pages)
Appendix-C: Political parties and candidates’ conduct rules, 2008 amendment proposals (1 page).
Appendix-D: Political Party Registration Rules, 2008 Amendment Proposal (1 page).
Annexure-A: letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh (1 page) on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP requesting not to use EVM/DVM machine (4 pages).
Annexure-B: A letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh (1 page) on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP regarding de-limitation of Constituency (1 page).
Annexure-C: election officer / voting officer panel form (1 page).
Annexure-D : A letter written to Election Commission of Bangladesh on behalf of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP requesting for providing ‘Entry Pass’(1 page).
A meeting between the following representatives of Bangladesh Nationalist party headed by its General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners took place at the Election Commission Secretariat on October 15, 2017.
- Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
- Khandoker Mosharraf Hossain
- Barrister Moudud Ahmed
- Barrister Jamir Uddin Sircar
- Tariqul Islam
- G (R) Mahbubur Rahman
- Barrister Rafiqul Islam Mia
- Mirza Abbas
- Gayeswar Chandra Roy
- Abdul Moyeen Khan
- Md. Nazrul Islam Khan
- Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury
- Abdul Halim
- Md. Ismail Zabihullah
- Abdur Rashid Sircar
- Advocate Ruhul Kabir Rizvi
(BNP Communication) — BNP’s Vision-2030 for Bangladesh
Bangladesh Nationalist Party- BNP
The people of Bangladesh nurtured a dream as they trammeled through the odds of the liberation struggle. The dream was about social justice, human dignity and equality. This dream of the people has not yet been realized. It has been shattered by the millstone of misrule and tyranny. We have to vow anew to realize the dream unitedly. Bangladesh Nationalist party aims at building a tolerant, humane, peace-loving, people’s welfare oriented, social and economic justice driven democratic and prosperous society ensuring participatory role of people belonging to all faiths and ethnic nationalities, and upholding their thoughts, hopes and aspirations.
BNP firmly believes people occupies the center-stage of all national development. BNP has compiled Vision-2030 to achieve the objectives of making Bangladesh a happy, prosperous, modern and self-respecting nation through uprooting the obstacles that thwart people’s genius, effort, enthusiasm and initiative.
- BNP is of the opinion that the people of Bangladesh has been dispossessed of the ownership of the state that they had created through the great liberation war. BNP wants to hand over the lost ownership of the country back to her people.
- BNP is committed to building a liberal democratic society wherein freedom of expression and rights of citizens upholding national interest shall be protected. BNP unwaveringly pledges to respect opinion or belief of any group or individual, however small it be.
- We do not believe in ‘one day democracy’. BNP does not like people’s power to confine to election-day alone. BNP wants to be true to the hopes and aspirations of the people reflected through every day public opinion.
- BNP aims at managing the affairs of the state with due deference to the opinions of the civil society, mass-media, opinion surveys, expert opinion, essence of all sorts of knowledge gathered through experience and day to day hopes and aspirations of the people. BNP, armed with mass support, will resist the sinister move of exiling democracy by the authoritarian ruler taking recourse to the fallacious plea that development is pre-eminent over democracy.
- Existing constitutional order vests all executive powers of the republic unilaterally in the hands of the Prime Minister. This system is completely inconsistent with the recognized form of parliamentary system. Experience of the recent time made the people of the country deeply realize that the monolithic executive authority of the Prime Minister has created an authoritarian dictatorship with a parliamentary façade. In order to bring an end to this situation, the executive powers of the republic shall be balanced through appropriate constitutional amendment.
- As a part of the reforms of the current constitutional arrangement, it will be examined if Upper House of the JatiyaSangsadmay be established keeping the existing unitary character and structure of the constitution intact.
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- After coming to power in 2009, Awami League brought 15th and 16th amendments to the constitution through which the system of referendum and caretaker government system during election was abrogated. Some undemocratic articles/sections were incorporated into the constitution like the system of holding JatiyaSangsad Election keeping the erstwhile parliament alive, somemore undemocratic articles/sections were incorporated into the constitution barring bringing changes, addition, substitution, abrogation, or the introduction of articles/sections in certain parts of the constitution. Additionally, the power of impeachment of the judges of higher judiciary was vested upon the JaityaSangsad. BNP shall make a review of these controversial and undemocratic articles/sections and bring in necessary reforms to the constitution.
- BNP shall restore the provision of Referendum in the constitution to reinstate the democratic right of the people.
- JatiyaSangsad will be transformed into the center-point of all national issues. The opposition parties will be shared on all issues of national interest. The chairmanship of public accounts committee and public undertakings committee shall be offered to the members of the opposition. In order to strengthen the parliamentary activities, different caucus shall be encouraged to be formed integrating the back-benchers from the opposition and treasury bench.
- Rain-bow displays in brilliant sequence a glow of seven bright colors in the autumn sky. BNP wants to nurture a political culture involving all political shades of opinion and paths that will transform Bangladesh into a ‘Rain-bow Nation’.
- BNP is firmly determined to reach the destination of democracy, justice and fair-play, which had been the tenets of the liberation war consecrated by the people. Hence, BNP wants to combine together 3 Gs – ‘Good policy’, ‘Good governance’ and ‘Good administration’.
- BNP wants to bring an end to political and social divisions in the country by uniting spirit of Bangladeshi nationalism.
- BNP aims at building an integrated nationhood bringing together all fragments of the nation irrespective of religious, regional, ethnic and gender identities.
- BNP wants to achieve the profound objective of building an inclusive society through a greater fusion of all sections of people. This will require elimination of all types of inequality and obstacles of divisiveness so that everybody’s might and effort can be utilized for nation-building.
- BNP wants to unite the nation that has fallen victim to divisiveness. Continuous dialogue, exchange of views and creation of mutual understanding shall be the instrument of BNP to strike a unified chord among all hues of ideological followings.
- BNP wants to establish a forward-looking new stream of governance and political culture by embracing novelty as against politics of vengeance and requital. BNP will make efforts to reach a new social contract towards this goal.
- To ensure democracy, good governance and economic transparency, BNP shall cleanse all constitutional and statutory bodies of the filth of vested interest and
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party-philia through adopting all legal and procedural measures to enhance efficiency and restore confidence in these bodies.
- National institutions have been turned ineffectual for serving narrow party interest. BNP will ensure effectiveness of the state administrative machinery, police and other relevant national institutions through giving due recognition to honesty, efficiency, merit, capability, patriotism and judiciousness alone, without considering loyalty to party that be.
- BNP will give credence to training, experience, honesty, excellence in merit and creativity only, for considering eligibility in civil and military administration. BNP will make it a must to put an end to partisan and extralegal interference and see to it that judiciary, public administration, and police enjoy the freedom to lawfully discharge their duties.
- BNP shall not make any compromise with corruption. In order to arrest spread of corruption in the society like a filthy wound, rule of law, accountability and transparency shall be thoroughly implemented along with procedural and legal reforms.
- The office and position of the Ombudsman shall be createdas per the constitution in order to ensure administrative accountability and transparency.
- Bangladesh is now an unsecured and risky land. Even a child in the mother’s womb is not free from the claw of cruel crimes. People seeking justice from the court is being denied justice. Courts are used to suppress the members of the opposition parties. A culture of impunity has engulfed the country. In order to redress the situation, fairness and justice should be ensured. To achieve this goal Public Administration, Judiciary, Police, and Prison have to be reformed. These institutions should be made transparent, efficient, modern, and updated.
- BNP is totally faithful to human values and dignity. BNP is oath-bound to rule of law. Suffice it to say that no rule of black law shall be acceptable to BNP in the name of rule of law. BNP shall annul all sorts of black laws. BNP shall bring an end to all forms of inhuman physical and mental torture and extra-judicial killings to keep people free from all forms of cruel treatment.
- ‘Special Powers Act 1974’ shall be repealed.
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations shall be implemented.
- It is agreed by all that there is no transparency in the appointment process of the Judges. The criteria for appointment, promotion, posting, and jurisdiction of the judges of the highest to the lowest courts will only be merit rising above partisan considerations. The judges of higher judiciary shall be appointed on the basis of strict standards of knowledge, wisdom, morality, patriotism, sense of judgment and goodwill. In order to ensure competence, merit and transparent process in the appointment of judges of the higher courts in the light of the constitution, a law shall be enacted laying down the competence and standard through a Select Committee and Supreme Judicial Council. The CV and wealth statement of the persons so selected/recommended shall be made public.
- Fair justice and rule of law for the people shall be ensured through effective independence and neutrality of the judiciary. The lower courts will be freed from
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the control of the executives and a separate secretariat under the Supreme Court will control them.
- Administration of justice and the process of justice shall be transformed fully into electronic/online management to make them corruption free, transparent and accountable to the seekers of justice. The justice seekers will know about the open information of the courts through electronic/online system and mobile phone technology.
- Pending cases will be freed from case-jam through appointing required number of competent judges.
- Jury system in lower judiciary will be re-introduced on a pilot basis consisting of non-controversial, respectable, ethically correct, and ideal persons to make the judicial process transparent, speedy, and acceptable.
- Village-courts shall be re-formed to transform them into effective courts with a view to reduce the load of cases on the shoulder of higher courts and to encourage local justice and alternative dispute settlement. It will be examined to see whether traditional informal arbitration courts can be introduced side by side with existing village-courts under Union Parishads.
- A high level Judicial Commission shall be formed to reform existing worm-eaten justice system.
- Police in many instances does not entertain cases at the police station. This is denial of justice. Right to even justice in the criminal cases through proper protection of law on the part of criminal justice seekers will be ensured through use of online method and mobile technology.
- The police force will be built up congruent with the spirit of a free and democratic society. The police force will be turned into a force that revers the public through motivation, training, and moral up-liftment through ensuring judicial oversight on the police in the light of CrPC, PRB, Police Act, and all other relevant Acts and Rules and thus create an accountable and welfare oriented public administration.
- The Police Force will be turned into a skilled, state of the art and well equipped force in keeping with fast changing world and technological advancements. The law enforcing agencies will be freed from partisan influence to make them smart, skilled, neutral and welfare oriented so that they can protect life, liberty, and property of the public and establish peace and discipline and rule of law through performing duties neutrally and professionally. All sorts of undesirable political interference on the law enforcing agencies will be stopped.
- Lower field level police staff including Police Constable / Traffic Police and ASIwill not be allowed to continue in duties at a stress for more than 8 hours, or they shall not be compelled to do so. For performing risky duties, they will be given Risk Allowance and for working beyond 8 hours, they will be paid Overtime Allowance at reasonable rate per hour. Effective steps will be taken to solve the housing problem of the police personnel of the rank of ASI down to Constables.
- Pay and allowances and other privileges of the public servants shall be increased in line with the prices of the essentials.
- Far reaching reform program will be taken up for the police and public administration to ensure public safety. It has become a big challenge in Bangladesh
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to appoint right person to the right post. Rising above personal bias, or parochial party loyalty, public administration will be reorganized on the basis of merit, honesty, efficiency, capability, patriotism, morality, and sense of judgement.
- An efficient, transparent, dynamic, meritorious, accountable, consistent with the spirit of time and pro people public administration will be built up. Appointment process shall be reformed appropriately to ensure the value of merit. Quota system other than for sons and daughters of the Freedom Fighters, women, and marginal ethnic groups will be abolished. An appropriate Civil Service Act shall be enacted in keeping with dynamic globalization and in the light of the constitution. E-Governance shall be introduced at every stage. In order to increase the efficiency of public administration, advanced training will be arranged at home and abroad.
- The armed forces shall be modernized, trained and organizationally reinforced and equipped with cutting edge technology, advanced armaments and imbibed with supreme spirit of patriotism. Civil and military relations will be so designed to be compatible with democratic dispensation. The Armed Forces shall be appropriately developed and expanded. Participation of the defense in the national developmental activities and international peace-keeping will be encouraged.
- BNP is firmly committed to uphold independence, sovereignty and dignity of Bangladesh. BNP will not interfere into the internal affairs of any other country neither will create any security threat to any other country. In the same vein BNP commits that strong resistance will be made if any other countryinterferes into internal affairs of Bangladesh and poses any threat to state security of Bangladesh. BNP believes that across the border Bangladesh have friends and no master. With respect to foreign relations, topmost priority will be given to national interest of Bangladesh. BNP will build up special relation with MusilmUmmah and the neighboring countries.
- There has been a tremendous erosion of ethical and moral values in Bangladesh. This has led to severe social unrest and anarchy. BNP is firmly committed to resisting this erosion of ethical and moral values through the instrument of mass media, academic curriculum, inculcation of proper religious values and positive social movement.
- Teachers and students will be imbibed with appropriate spirit to create inclusive, humane, tolerant, just and egalitarian society.
- People do not get due benefit of public services due to corruption, negligence of duty, lack of feeling for the people, social discrimination, lack of accountability, lack of public awareness, and above all due to absence of people’s participation in the production and distribution of services. The quality of services provided by state and statutory bodies, including power supply, supply of drinking water, sewage services, maintenance of environmental quality, police service, judicial service, health service and administrative services shall be gradually improved through bold strides.
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- The problems of service providing systems like power supply, drinking water, sewage and conservancy, police-judicial-health- administrative services by the public and statutory bodies will be identified and solved fast.
Social Safety Network
- Social safety network shall be expanded further for the survival of the disadvantaged and ultra-poor people irrespective of caste, creed and religion till the end of their povertyso that no poor and distressed person shall remain outside the purview of social safety network. Per capita allocation in this regard will be increased in keeping with inflation. In order to ensure food security for very low income people, Government Rationing system shall be introduced.
- The amount of allowance for the distressed widow, women abandoned by their husbands and the helpless old will be increased in keeping with the rate of inflation. The distribution of special type of allowances will be made free of corruption and flawless.
- A “Pension Fund” will be created to ameliorate the sufferings of old people who had been engaged in private sector jobs. This fund will be created out of a specific percentage of the income of such persons so that it comes for the use of reducing distress and sufferings in the old age. The contributors to this fund will be given a just rate of profit. One can contribute to this fund since the beginning till the end of one’s working life. Those who will contribute to this fund will be given loan out of this fund on the basis of relevant rules and regulations.This pension fund money may be invested for economic development and infrastructure building.
- A mapping of the areas affected by poverty, distress, and lack of education, health facilities and infrastructural benefits will be made through an intensive survey of the grass root areas. Short term material assistance will be given to the ultra-poor of these areas to give them an opportunity for survival. In medium and long term, sustainable employment opportunities will be created in these areas through development of education, health, and physical infrastructure so that in future they need not be dependent upon any charitable grants. The old-age people, the disabled, and those lacking earning member in the family will be uninterruptedly brought within the safety net. In every such village, people deserving the benefits of safety net will be identified through a committee of local government members and respected citizens through holding discussion in an open meeting to ensure transparency.
- A regulation will be made enabling the disabled to travel by bus – train – launch for free.
Liberation War & Freedom Fighters
- Though unfortunate, the freedom fighters could not be given due status during different regimes after the independence.
- BNP shall declare every freedom fighter an“honoured citizen of the state”.
- Corruption will be brought to an end in the name of making list of freedom fighters. BNP will make a correct list of freedom fighters through a transparent process.
- The allowance given to the freedom fighters will be in consonance with inflation rate. The system of distribution of this allowance will be made corruption free and flawless.
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- Freedom fighters desirous of investment will be encouraged and will be given total cooperation. Priority will be given to efficient freedom fighters in managing Freedom Fighter Welfare Trust and business and industrial enterprises for the welfare of freedom fighters.
- To keep the memory of freedom struggle alive, the killing fields and mass graves distributed over different spots of the country shall be identified, and memorial monuments will be constructed.
- It is a matter of regret that the way the freedom fighters are evaluated at the state level, the martyrs of freedom struggle are not. BNP shall prepare a correct list of martyrs of freedom struggle through an intensive survey at the behest of the state and they shall be given due honour and state recognition. The allowance given to the families of martyr freedom fighters will be increased in keeping with the rate of inflation. A law shall be made to allow the freedom fighters to travel by bus, train, and launch at half the rate of fare so fixed.
Terrorism, Extremism and Militancy
- At present, terrorism,extremism, and militancy have become a perilous problem for the nation. Democratic deficit, absence of rule of law, and violation of human rights are among the reasons for rise of terrorism, extremism and militancy in Bangladesh. All efforts for national development will fail if this problem of terrorism cannot be resolved. The nation will plunge into terrible instability. This is why BNP will take stern measures against terrorism, extremism and militancy.
- BNP firmly believes that terrorism, extremism and militancy is a great threat to global order. BNP shall not tolerate any such activity on the soil of Bangladesh. Terrorism shall be uprooted from the soil of Bangladesh through creation of national unity and participation of people.
- BNP shall adopt the core strategy for resisting terrorism and militancy through poverty eradication, reduction of unemployment, educating the people about anti-terror precepts of the holy religious books, and strengthening the values of peace, harmony and fraternity as against terrorism. BNP shall encourage inter-faith dialogue.
- Economic inequality is getting exacerbated in Bangladesh over time. This state of affairs is not at all desirable in the interest of national unity and stability. BNP is committed to poor-friendly and egalitarian economic growth. BNP shall tackle the twin problem of poverty and rich-poor inequality through accelerating growth rate and through even distribution of its benefits.
- BNP wants to transform Bangladesh by 2030 into a modern and democratic high-middle-income country. Within this period, per capita income shall be upgraded to $5000. In order to achieve this goal BNP shall adopt creative and intelligent initiative toboost annual growth rate to a double digit figure.
- Establishment of manufacturing industry in Bangladesh is very costly due to scarcity of land. Given this harsh reality, BNP will go for economic use of limited land resources to set up industries and will also adopt a development strategy of least-land-intensive modern service industries like bank, insurance and financial service, hotel-restaurant, IT industry, amusement industry, tourism, transportation,
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telecommunication, distance-learning, air-hub, water-hub, security services, ports and shipping, tele-medicine etc.
- The power and supervisory role of the central bank shall be upgraded to ensure discipline in the financial sector of the country. In the backdrop of share market and bank plundering, capable, honest and efficient persons shall be appointed in the Security and Exchange Commission and in the board of directors of nationalized banks to stop furthercorruption in these sectors.Political interference in the functioning of the financial institutions shall be put to an end. Shedding partisan and parochial considerations, the members of the board of directors and other executives of the public and private banks shall be appointed on the basis of competence, honesty and efficiency. Banking division in the Ministry of Finance shall be abolished, and the task of monitoring the nationalized banks shall vest with the Central Bank.
Research & Development (R&D)
- Research and Development – R&D plays a very important role in any modern and developing country. Any private initiative that does not go for development of new types of products and production process cannot survive through competition. The enterprises where R&D plays a special role will be given state incentive for spending at least 3% of their annual revenue for R&D. Skilled engineers, industrial scientists and researchers are needed for R&D. Investment in the R&D sector is uncertain and risky. This is why it should be given state facilitation. BNP will prepare Annual Budgets helpful for R&D in the private sector. Encouragement will be given to build bridges among universities, research bodies, and business enterprises. For the development of R&D fundamental and applied research shall be encouraged. Measures shall be taken to patent new products and production process developed through R&D. BNP believes that the world has entered into the stage of knowledge based economy in the 21st BNP wants to move forward through this process of world development side by side.
- Bangladesh is passing through a demographic transition. At the moment 63.25% of Bangladesh population falls within the age bracket of 15-64. Therefore the biggest proportion of Bangladesh population falls in the group of active population. It has significance for economic development. A country where the proportion of children, juveniles and old age people is lower can accelerate the pace of economic development through utilizing the active population. However, such opportunity comes only once in a nations life. Both the children and the old age people are dependent on the income earned by the active people. Under such a situation, higher proportion of active population contributes towards accelerated and higher economic growth. Active population includes both woman and man. South Korea could take advantage out of demographic transition and has become a developed state. On the other hand despite being wealthy, Nigeria could not take advantage of this situation, and therefore mired in poverty.
- According to a projection of the Asian Development Bank, the size of active population of Bangladesh in 2025 will be 78 million. In 2010 it was 56.7 million. In 2010, 2/3rd of the active population was minimally literate and only 4% got some form of training. Different estimationsreveal that every year 2.2 million persons
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enter into the job market in Bangladesh. Out of which only 1 million gets job. The rest remains unemployed.
- To avail the opportunity of demographic dividend, employment has to be created for all active persons. This is a huge task. In order to achieve this goal, the national savings rate has to be increased to 40%. This saving has to be invested in totality. A portion of the investment will be used for required human resource development. The other potion has to be used for the fast development of agriculture, industry, and service sectors.
- To achieve the goal of human resource development, change has to be brought in the mindset of the people. The youths of the country has to be freed from non-technical ‘Diploma Disease’. Diversity in the field of education has to be brought in consonance with taste, ability, merit, and market demand. Training program has to be introduced for professional and technical education, engineering education, medical education, science education, and different research areas of fundamental and applied scientific research, hundreds of trade and occupation (for example – plumber, fitter, electrician, electronic mechanic, health technician, nurses, master tailors, fashion designers, agricultural equipment mechanic, lathe-operator, mechanics for garments machineries and their maintenance, mechanics and engineers for industrial machineries, hospitality service, housekeeping, furniture designing, art and craft work, masonry, rod binder, land surveyor, rail workshop technicians, mechanics for vehicle, motor driving, printing technologies, and technicians for repairing mobile telephone and computers). This presupposes quality primary and secondary education. Parallely, at every stage of education and training, the quality of the teachers has to be improved. If necessary Bangladeshi scientists, engineers, and professors working abroad are to be utilized. Necessary number of institutions for trade and vocational education and certification are to be developed. To develop human resources, both the government and private sectors have to be utilized efficiently. Instructors and trainers of technical and vocational institutes have to be given special economic and other benefits, so that these institutions become effective. The banks and financial institutions have to be encouraged to spend for human resource development a larger slice of the money they use for corporate social responsibility. The main strategy during demographic transition period will be to create efficient human resources through enhancing savings and investments and to create attractive job market through investment in them. It will be necessary to create a bridge between education, research, training institutions, and business firms. Human resource has to be developed through advanced knowledge, technology, information technology, and education, and create jobs for the human resources so developed. There has to be a balance among tacit knowledge, applied knowledge, theoretical knowledge, applied and theoretical research, and such other knowledge creation activities. If we want to make Bangladesh a developed and dignified nation, there is no other alternative to achieve demographic dividend. Attaining demographic dividend is one of the priorities of BNP.
- According to human development index–HDI 2016 of the United Nations, Bangladesh ranks 139th position among 188 countries. This indicates that Bangladesh has not yet been able to achieve high index of human development and could not take effective steps for achieving the demographic dividend. BNP shall adopt planned and effective steps for attaining High Human Development Index within 2030.
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Education & Human Resource
- There is no alternative to education, diffusion of technology and human resource development in a resource poor and densely populated country like Bangladesh. Education shall be vocation-centered and linked with the needs of daily life. BNP wants to improve the quality of education at every level and overcome backwardness in science-education. Education is not a monopoly of the rich. BNP shall ensure quality education for all, irrespective of rich and poor. BNP shall take the opportunity for education to the door steps of the people of backward areas.
- BNP shall eradicate illiteracy within a decade.
- 5% of the GDP shall be spent in the education sector.
- Higher education in Bangladesh will be enriched through knowledge intensity, science and technology. Emphasis will be given on discipline based education, training and research. A world-class university will be established.
- A dedicated education channel in the national TV shall be installed for extension of education and its quality development.
- In order to connect Bangladesh with the world of merit and the international labor market emphasis will be placed upon learning Bangla, and English and other foreign languages like Korean, Chinese, Japanese, German, Arabic, French, Spanish, etc. In order to cater for language skills, training activities shall be intensified. In order to achieve this goal, more foreign language institutes will be established under government initiative and the private sector shall be encouraged to establish foreign language institutes through incentives. These institutes will be subjected to regulatory mechanism.
- A special fund shall be created for providing scholarship to the meritorious students to enable them to achieve highest degree in their field of study from renowned foreign universities.
- Free tuition benefits shall be provided up to degree and equivalent level for both girls and boys. Education stipend program shall be expanded for both boys and girls.
- BNP’s education policy will be life-oriented, and not degree-oriented. In Bangladesh, huge number of foreigners have been employed in business and industrial organizations due to inadequacy of specialized human resource like managers, business administrators and technical hands. They send huge remittance to their respective countries affecting Bangladesh economy. We have to create necessary skilled human resource in our own country to overcome this inadequacy. With this aim in view, BNP shall rapidly train up our unskilled labour force by introducing effective training courses and cater for their employment. This will strengthen our economy by stopping drainage of foreign currency. BNP shall take all administrative and institutional measures to create job oriented skilled human resource by arranging demand based vocational and technical training and necessary training in foreign language for the unskilled workers.
- Social, cultural, gender and economic obstacles shall be removed to create equal opportunity for education at all levels.
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- Opportunities for special education will be ensured for the physically, mentally and emotionally impaired by ensuring appointment of trained teachers and introduction of special education system with adequate teaching-aids.
- Election to student bodies will be ensured in all universities including Dhaka Universityand other higher education institutions to enable create future leaders from among the students.
- Necessary effective measures shall be taken for quality development of primary and secondary education. The pay and allowances of the primary and secondary teaches shall be regularly increased in consonance with the prices of essentials to enhance their living standard.
- Madrasa education will be further modernized to fit in with the day. Various professional and vocational subjects shall be included in their curriculum. This will include science and technology, IT and different languages including English alongside religious education. This will be done so that the Madrasa educated persons do not lag behind in productive activities and in case of employment, other professions and in availing opportunity to get admitted for higher education. It is to be noted that BNP during its last regime had declared ‘DawarayeHaidith’ offered by Kaomi madrasas equivalent to Masters-level.
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
- Though the present government talks big about the ICT Sector, the real picture in not that bright. ITU Report 2016 informs us that Bangladesh ranks 145th among 175 countries in ICT sector, lagging behind Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan. BNP will give priority to ICT sector and will take effective measures to enable Bangladesh march along with the rest of the world. Human resource in ICT will be excelled.
- ICT sector shall be transformed into the highest foreign currency earner by 2030 in keeping with the service-driven economic strategy. Outsourcing and software development shall be encouraged. All irrational obstacles on the repatriation of foreign currency earnings from ICT sector shall be removed. All global payment gateway facilities will be allowed at minimal charge.
- Consistent policy and strategy shall be adopted for content creation and publication.
- NTTN, ISP, and IIG shall be opened up leading to more competition, enhanced efficiency, and lowering the internet cost.
- VOIP will be opened up. This will ease up and reduce communication cost with the rest of the world. Business using internet and the people in general will gain in efficiency and productivity. A great leap forward will be realized in exports, domestic market oriented industries, e-commerce, and ICT sector in general including outsourcing. There shall be employment creation, skill development, and a boost for government revenue. The corruption ruling roost in VOIP sector will be arrested.
- Optimum use of ICT will be ensured in any sector that demands its use, such as administration, judiciary, education, health, commerce, communication, agriculture, and research. A specific and clear policy-package shall be adopted towards this end.
- A national award will be introduced in recognition of extra ordinary contribution in ICT. National ICT award shall be declared for the best school, the best college, the best teacher, and the best freelancer.
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- Foreign investment in ICT sector shall be eased. To ensure foreign investment and domestic and foreign initiative in the ICT sector, appropriate institutional arrangement and different types of incentives shall be provided. In order to make maximum use of IT Innovation Fund, different creative and coordinated plan shall be implemented by 2030. Meritorious youths and interested entrepreneurs working in software industry and IT service sector shall be given all-out assistance. A consultancy organization will be built up to enable innovation capacity of the new entrepreneurs and its application. In the appropriate field, entrepreneurs who are financially insolvent will be given financial incentives at low rate of interest through expandingthestartup-fund.It will be encouraged to create Mutual Fund and Venture Capital for ICT industry through the capital market.
- Very high speed internet will be ensured in keeping with time through developing internet infrastructure so that mobile data can be transferred within shortest possible time and broadband will be provided at low cost.
- Multiple links will be established with submarine cable to enhance capacity of bandwidth and uninterrupted internet connectivity will be ensured.
- High speed 4G coverage will be ensured for the whole country, especially for the rural areas through the mobile companies. In correspondence with international development, 4G or higher speed internet coverage will be ensured in future.
- Different types of incentives will be given to software and hardware industries. Domestic production of different components of internet such as smartphone, laptop, etc. will be encouraged. Zero tariff rate shall continue for all items used in ICT.
- Modern ICT infrastructure will be built up through providing uninterrupted, stable, and quality electricity and IT Parks, both public and private, in different areas of the country including Kaliakoir. Software Technology Park, Hi tech Park, Education Park, Computer Village and IT incubator will be established to enhance opportunities for knowledge development and employment home and abroad. High capacity Data Centers will be established through public and private initiative.
- Computer aided learning will be introduced up to HSC level. At this stage, computer programming education will also be introduced. Huge number of well trained teachers will be appointed to achieve the goal.
- A ‘Smart School’ will be established in every district so that these schools serve the purpose of model technology demonstrator.
- Computer training institutes for training of the computer teachers will be established in every district.
- IT institutes will be established in different tiers under the local government. IT sector shall be encouraged by providing scholarship to the students. More developed IT education system will be established through providing adequate teachers, hardware and laboratory facilities by 2020 at the secondary level, and by 2025 at the primary level. Skill development course shall be introduced along with general education in every school and college.All educational institution and public-placesshall be brought within free and safe internet Wi-Fi zone.
- BNP shall remove all obstacles blocking free speech, and freedom of thought of the people. Undemocratic sections of laws relating to ICT and social media (Cyber Security Act, ICT Act, etc.)shall be amended.
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- BNP shall produce an appropriate and well-timed policy to fix-up specific responsibility of electrical and electronic goods producers, importers, sellers, and buyers to protect the country from the hazards of e-waste. An appropriate collection and management system for e-waste will be developed.
- ICT will be BNP’s thrust sector.
- Planned and effective steps will be taken to put Bangladesh at an acceptable rank in the world sports map by 2030.
- A modern technology oriented sports academy will be established in every district to achieve international standard in games and sports.
- A modern national Olympic academy will be established in the country to ensure Bangladesh’s respectable status in multi-games events like South Asian Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, etc.
- Public and private investment will be boost-up to employ international standard trainers, develop necessary infrastructure and sports materials for developing games and sports. Banks and private business will be further encouraged to include within their corporate social responsibility to improve the standard of games and sports.
- A national list of promising games and sports men and women will be prepared through evaluating competence of the students of schools, colleges, and universities. Those capable of competing at the international level will be identified from among the promising games and sports men and women through training and their participation in national games and sports teams will be ensured. Besides, ‘Talent Hunt Scheme’ shall be introduced through social organizations, clubs, and mass-media.
- National award will be given to sportsmen and women who will achieve success at the international level. Attractive prizes will be introduced at every administrative unit (Upazilla, Zilla, and Division) in the arena of sports and games.
- Partisan interference in the sports arena and sports organizations will be stopped to ensure correct leadership in the field of games and sports.
- Culture is the facial reflection of a nation. Mentality and taste of a nation is expressed through culture. A culturally handicapped nation can never raise its head high among the international community. The character and nature of national culture develops through the integration of tradition and modernity. The objective of culture-practice will be inculcation of patriotism, human values, national identity, and enjoy pristine entertainment. Anything that is gracious and benign in the outer world will be integrated with national culture. BNP will resist all sorts of immoral sky-culture, and other forms of cultural aggression. Music, dance drama, plays, films and literary practice and all other components of culture consistent with national tradition will be enriched. Culture-practice reflective of bad taste and conflicting with national ethos will be discouraged. All obstacles in the way of practicing democratic culture will be removed. Democratic norms shall be perused to enable expression of free thought and ideas through culture.
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- Environment and facilities for healthy practice of culture and recreation will be created in the educational institutions.
- The practice of giving awards in different core areas of national culture will be further expanded.
Overseas Employment & Expatriate Welfare
- Well thought-out and planned steps will be taken to expand overseas employment and risk-free immigration to ensure good governance in this sphere.
- In order to enhance the efficiency of Bangladeshi workers intending to go abroad in correspondence with demands of foreign labour market, necessary training institutions will be established to enable them learn foreign language and achieve necessary skill.
- To bring down the cost of migration to a reasonable and tolerable level, the complexity of the problem will be examined and legislation of effective law, institutional regulations will be made and enhancement of the level of consciousness among the labours will be raised.
- In order to enable expatriates to remit their hard earned income to Bangladesh through legal channel, remittance arrangement with exchange house and banks will be made providing incentive facilities.
- Problems of the expatriates, especially those of the Bangladeshi workers working abroad and violation of their rights will be resolved in the light of bilateral agreements or MOU’s.
- To enable Bangladesh Missions play pro-expatriate, labour-welfare role will be ensured. Bangladesh mission in the countries having large number of Bangladeshi workers will be equipped with optimal level of manpower and other facilities to provide prompt and efficient consular services. The labour wing of those missions will also be strengthened to enable them provide necessary services.
- Expatriate Bangladeshi investment will be encouraged and their opinion and suggestions will be valued appropriately for national development.
- Prevailing harassment of the returning expatriates at the airports will be stopped. An appropriate list of returning expatriates will be prepared and different types of projects will be taken up for their welfare.
- In response to the longstanding demand of the Bangladeshi expatriates and considering their contribution to the national economy, they will be included in the voter list and enable them cast their vote in national election to ensure their participation in running the affairs of the country.
Media and the Freedom of Expression
- BNP always welcomes objective criticism. It is the duty of the state to ensure the professional freedom of the journalists and provide security to the constructive and objective critics. BNP will continuously try to fulfill this responsibility.
- The controversial Section 57 of the IT ACT will be repealed.
- It is necessary to formulate a set of principles consistent with free thinking and democratic spirit of print, electronic, and online media. BNP will constitute a Commission led by a former Justice of the Supreme Court, and renowned educationist, renowned citizen, IT Specialist, and experienced journalist as
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members. Policy for print, electronic, and online media acceptable to all quarters will be adopted on the basis of the report of this Commission.
- BNP shall recover the environment for honest journalism and shall ensure trial of sensational ‘Shagor-Runi Murder Case’ and killing of all other journalists. BNP shall withdraw all politically motivated false cases filed against the journalists.
- Majority of the people of the country live in the villages. BNP shall not run the country from the Secretariat in Dhaka. The country will be run on the basis of the wishes and opinion of grass-root people. Local government shall be given utmost importance in the interest of the people. Powers shall be widely decentralized. Responsibility, duty and power of the local government bodies shall be redefined and redesigned. Good governance-friendly atmosphere shall be raised to a desired level. Union Parishad, UpazillaParishad and ZillaParishad shall be duly strengthened so that these bodies may perform effectively in matters of development activities, maintenance of law and order and may provide services like education and health.
- Solution will be sought wherever the problem arises, basing on the principle of
‘sustainable solution is possible under local leadership’. Local government will be empowered through fixing accountability. The focal point of power and development shall be village oriented.
- In order to ensure basic services for the people, local government institutions at every level shall be strengthened and brought to accountability as per laws and rules and regulations.
- A portion of the national budget shall be allocated in favour of the local government in view of the inadequacy in government grants and to do away with disparity. An independent Commission created under law will distribute the amount on the basis of definite policies.
- At present, elected representatives of the local government are being suspended/dismissed/removed arbitrarily for political reasons, which is immoral and against democratic customs. Unless convicted by the court, the elected representatives of the local government shall not be suspended/dismissed/removed by executive order.
Peasants and Agriculture
- Keeping in view high population density and shrinking agricultural land, innovative agricultural strategy shall be adopted. Crop zoningshall be encouraged considering the suitability of cultivation of particular crops for the plains, hills and ‘haor-baor’ areas. Peasants will be enthused to cultivate HYV and high value crops. Appropriate marketing policy will be adopted to sustain farmers’ effort in this direction. Canal digging and river training activities shall be strengthened to ensure irrigation and removal of water logging.
- BNP is committed to the development agriculture and the peasantry. Due to various types of market manipulation peasants do not get fair price for their crops. An appropriate blending of price-support and input subsidy policies shall made to enable farmers get fair price for their products. Data-base will be built up in every union parishads to channelize support to the deserving farmers. A database of the
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farmers deserving state support shall be created through open meeting at every union parishad.
- Non availability of quality seeds is a serious problem for Bangladesh agriculture. In order to solve this problem seed multiplication farms and seed processing centers shall be set up in every upa-zilla. As the farmers would be getting benefit from this, total output will grow up by 8% to 10%.
- Agricultural wages go up in the busy seasons due to shortage of agricultural labor at a specific time. Therefore, cost of agricultural production also goes up. With a view to easing labor shortage situation, incentives will be provided to produce appropriate agricultural tools. Non-farm employment will be created to absorb surplus agricultural labor in the slack season.
- Peasants do not get fair price for their products as they do not have any control over the marketing process. Handling, sorting, storage and transport facilities will be brought under farmers’ control through creation of vertical co-operative societies and necessary state support will be given to this end.
- Modern agriculture is highly research dependent. Invention of new varieties of HYV seeds, salinity resistant seeds, less thirsty crops, shortening maturity period of crops, pest resistant crops, multiple cropping within one season and more than one season and input saving crops etc. will be the goal of setting up modern research stations for agriculture. A reasonable portion of the state budget will be ear-marked for agricultural research.
- Miniscule holding size of Bangladesh agriculture has put a limit on the scope of commercialization of Bangladesh agriculture. This will further intensify in future. This problem can be overcome through technological innovations. Necessary state initiatives shall be undertaken to this end. Commercial farming subjects the farmers to vagaries of market. State shall adopt creative measures to protect the farmers from market-vagaries.
- Agriculture is highly prone to different types of risk. In order to face this problem crop insurance, live-stock insurance, fisheries insurance and poultry insurance will be introduced, if required, with subsidy.
- Interest on agricultural loan for poor peasants and natural disaster affected peasants will be given waver.
- Necessary regulatory mechanism shall be developed to ensure supply and manufacture of safe poultry and fish feed.Protection measures against epidemic diseases like bird-flu shall be ensured. For recycling of poultry feathers and excreta, soft-term credit facilities will be ensured.
- Comprehensive research initiatives will be undertaken for the development of poultry, fisheries, live-stock, agricultural crops and forest resources.
- In every Upazilla, veterinary doctors will be appointed and adequate supply of veterinary medicine shall be ensured.
- Private sector will be given incentives for developing goat, cattle and buffalofarms.
- Private sector will be given incentive to set up agro-processing
- Non-agricultural use of agricultural land will be stopped. In order to achieve this goal clustered housing scheme will be undertaken in the rural areas.
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- The main objective of agricultural development will be to ensure food and nutrition security. To ensure balanced and safe nutritious food (calorie, protein, vitamins, minerals, fat etc) the agriculture sector will be totally reorganized and flourished through appropriate incentives. Use of unsafe and harmful manure and pesticides shall be stopped.
- Shahid President Ziaur Rahman took the first initiative to develop the haors and the life and livelihood of people living in the haor areas through establishment of Haor Development Board on 22nd February, 1977. We must think anew about haor-economy, the haor people, and the haor environment. Planned and multi-dimensional initiatives will be taken to encourage short-lived crops cultivation, aquatic agriculture, planned irrigation, establishment of fish sanctuary, planned duck farming, providing subsidy to the fishermen in hard days, to bring the entire haor under a planned tourism development scheme. To conserve and develop the flora and fauna of the haors, and to utilize the extensive possibilities of the haor areas in both dry and wet season, well designed measures shall be taken.
- BNP shall ensure the democratic right to form trade unions and collective bargaining by the working class.BNP shall introduce a review systemevery two years to fix minimum wage for workers of all sectorsin line with essential-items inflation. It will also enact laws and by-laws to ensure reasonable labour health service in the private sector. This law and by-law will be consistent with National Health Service. The state sector shall be subjected to similar system.
- Hundreds of workers have lost their lives due to horrendous industrial accidents during last few years. Hundreds of labourers have become disabled. BNP wants to keep the industrial sector free from such tragic accidents. Towards this end, direct survey will be conducted among the existing industrial units to identify the sources of accidents such as fire from electrical short circuits, boiler explosion, and collapse of factory buildings, etc. and necessary and effective measures will be taken to free the industrial units in the public and private sector from accidents. Special monitoring system will be at place to maintain the technical standard, such as infrastructure, machineries, and electric and gas connection, and all other related matters so that newly built industrial units do not fall into such accidents.
- Safe housing and transportation shall be developed for workers in garments sector, especially female-workers.
- A national master planconsistent with double-digit growth rate shall be formulated to discipline fast and anarchically growing urbanization. In order to implement this plan, a policy forappropriate market incentive and regulatory mechanism shall be adopted.
- The challenge of urbanization shall be met by reducing growing population pressure in big cities through administrative and economic decentralization and infrastructure development at zilla and upa-zilla towns.
- Planned residential system such as clustered housing and vertical residence will be built up in the villages without spoiling farm land. For planned use of land in industrialization and urbanization, a policy shall be framed and implemented.
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- Coordinated strategy shall be adopted and implemented for waste management and traffic management in the cities.
- Right to housing is a fundamental right of every citizen. BNP shall give housing facilities at an affordable cost to low income people through a realistic and multi-purpose project. Illegally occupied land shall be retrieved and slum-dwellers and the poor homeless people will be settled over there. In this way, all slum-dwellers and poor people of the country will be given housing facilities phase by phase.
Safe Food and Medicine
- Legal measures shall be sternly enforced to resist adulteration, specially, with regard to food and medicine. A powerful and effective Food and Drug Control Authority shall be set up. Relevant law shall be enacted towards this end.
- ‘Health for all’ will be BNP’s health policy. To make affordable health services easily accessible to all, universal health coverage will be introduced within the fastest possible time.
- Health insurance will be introduced in phases.
- GP (General Practitioner)system shall be introduced to ensure cost-free health services to all the citizens. One doctor will be earmarked for every citizen. This will ensure universal health coverage on the one hand and create employment opportunities for the doctors on the other. 50 items of essential medicines will be distributed to the poor free of cost. An effective referral system will be developed.
- BNP will take effective measures for prevention and cure of all communicable, non-communicable and newly emerged diseases not known earlier on the basis of the principle of ‘Prevention is better than Cure’.
- 5% of GDP will be spent on the health sector. BNP’s objective is to turn Bangladesh intoa healthy developed nation through national health development by preventing corruption and irregularities in health sector.
- The price of drugs will be reasonably reduced even after ensuring reasonable profit of producers, wholesalers and retailers. Domestic production of drugs, basic ingredients of drugs and medical equipment will be encouraged.
- Developed medical facilities will be made easily accessible at the rural level through gradual expansion of developed medical facilities to the Division, District and Sub-District level. In order to make surgery facilities available at the sub-district level, special emphasis will be given on the creation of anesthetists and their posting in sub district health complex with pay incentive.
- At least quarter of a million new doctors and proportionate number of nurses and health technicians will be required to attain high medium income country-status by 2030.To achieve this goal,realistic and standard system shall be developed.
- All- time health services with lab facilities will be ensured at every union health center by ensuring availability of two doctors therein. Every doctor will compulsorily render services at least for two years at the union health and family welfare center. The community health centers will be further strengthened through these doctors.
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- The doctors will be appointed on the basis of merit and their higher education and training shall be arranged at home and abroad to ensure medical services in consonance with the technological development in the health sector.
- WHO principles will be adopted for integration and development of traditional medicine in national health services.
- National Accreditation Council will be formed with eminent doctors and medical educationists for development and regulation of quality health education.
- State-sponsored health services will be ensured for prevention of infectious disease, development of mother health and maternity health.Reduction of child mortality rate and child malnutrition will be taken special care of.
- Healthy and safe drinking water and hygienic sewage will be ensured.
- Special health care for the old people including mentally retarded and physically handicapped shall be provided. Mobile medical unit shall work for ensuring health services to the people living in coastal belt and char areas. HOSPICE-CARE will be established to mitigate prolonged sufferings of the patients afflicted with critical diseases.
- Incentive in the form of low-interest loan will be given to private entrepreneurs to encourage establishment of developed hospitals at district and sub-district levels.
- Monitoring system comprising of health and medical specialists and eminent citizens from cross-section of people shall be put in place for ensuring quality services at Government and private hospitals.
- BNP will take effective measures to gradually reduce population increment rate to zero percent. Family welfare programs shall be effectively expanded to all tiers of the society including slums, low-income groups and the people deprived of literacy.
Youth, Women and Children
- Appropriate development strategy will be adopted to cater to the needs of development of life and livelihood of the youth, women and children. Participation of the youth, women and children will be ensured in national development.
- BNP firmly affirms the contribution of women in the development of civilization and culture. To make bright the future of the country, BNP shall integrate women directly in every activity. All obstacles in implementation of this process will be removed.
- Stern and effective legal measures will be adopted against oppression of women, dowry system, acid throwing, sexual harassment, rape and trafficking in women and children. Realistic steps will be taken to stop child labour.
- Day Care Centers will be established in the public and private sectors so that women can concentrate on their duties without worrying, leaving their children in these centers.
- Necessary measures will be taken to remove all social and cultural obstacles in the way of women entrepreneur development. In order to give more encouragement to the women entrepreneurs, they will be helped in preparing project proposal and will be given bank loan at low interest and tax holiday.
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- BNP shall make the youths efficient and capable to enable unemployed youths in productive activities through new job creation within the country and employment abroad.
- To encourage youth entrepreneurs to make increased investment, they will be helped through preparation of project proposal, bank loan at low interest, and tax holiday.
- Unemployed educated youths will be given ‘Unemployment Allowance’ till an educated youth gets employed, or waits up to one year to avail a job, whichever occurs earlier.
- Climate change is posing a serious threat to the existence of humanity. But, countries like Bangladesh is not responsible for this situation. The industrialized countries will have to bear the liability for this. The industrialized countries will have to come forward to redress the damage due to climate change. Bangladesh will
take an active initiative to create world opinion to build international cooperation frame-work and adopt practical measure, to overcome the hazards created by climate change.
- People’s level of consciousness about climate change will be enhanced. To face the hazards of climate change, sustainable mitigation and adaptation strategies shall be adopted, such as reducing carbon emission, restoring canals, ‘beels’, rivers, drains, wetland, and planned urbanization. Intensive afforestation measures will be taken up throughout the whole country including the coastal areas. Appropriate measures will be taken to protect the forest and bio-diversity everywhere in the country including the Sundarbans.
Water Resources, Blue Economy, and Environmental Protection
- In order to ensure optimal use of water resources throughout the country without creating any social and environmental hazards, a well-developed plan for water resource management will be adopted. A national water grid will be created. In order to ensure sustainable development, effective measures shall be taken to protect environment and conserve natural resources.
- To solve the problem of water scarcity during the dry season, the canal digging program initiated by Shahid Zia will be initiated again to resuscitate silted canals and rivers and derelict ponds and tanks.
- Water of rivers, canals, and water bodies has become toxic due to lack of mass consciousness. To stop spilling of agricultural chemicals, industrial waste into water bodies, stringent regulatory laws shall be enforced and mass consciousness will be raised.
- In order to ensure availability of drinking water sourced from surface water, and purify them, highest measures shall be adopted.
- The ratio between underground and surface water in Bangladesh at the moment is 70:30. Technological measures shall be taken on the basis of scientific research to enhance surface water.
- Conservation of water of rivers, haors, and water bodies shall be achieved on the basis of a coordinated policy. Necessary steps will be taken for river training. Land
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reclamation shall be done through conserving alluvium soils brought in by the rivers. Effective economic management of river borne sands shall be ensured.
- There are more than 400 rivers in Bangladesh. Of them, 230 are moribund. The moribund rivers shall me made navigable through digging and during dry season these will be turned into water reservoirs. Old Brahmaputra, Dhaleshwari, Gorai, Madhumati, Korotoa, etc. rivers will be dug to make water reservoirs.
- To ensure conservation of deltaic Bangladesh in a natural form and expand the coast-line and land reclamation, it is necessary to maintain the natural flow of BNP shall take initiative, if necessary, to build up international cooperation towards this end. The islands that have risen up in the coastal areas will be properly conserved and developed. Appropriate research, development and planned initiative will be taken up to achieve land reclamation and land expansion. To stop river bank erosion, appropriate river training, research and development initiatives will be taken up and erosion resistant structures will be constructed. Measures will be taken to construct coastal polders and reconstruction and rehabilitation measures will be made effective.
- In Bangladesh we have displaced water and therefore water has occupied our land creating floods and water logging. Effective techniques will be adopted to remove water logging.
- Flood protection measures will be taken up in haors, hilly land, and other flood-prone areas.
- Dhaka has become the second worst unlivable city in the world. In the interest of life and living of the inhabitants of Dhaka, wetlands consisting of Buriganga, Balu, and Turag around Dhaka will be made pollution free, and measures shall be taken to bring back normal water flow. In order to reduce environmental pollution in Dhaka, technological and regulatory measures will be taken up. This will make the surface water clean and river navigation shall become possible at low cost. Primate cities like Dhaka and Chittagong and all other divisional and district towns shall have modern and environmentally sound waste management system.
- BNP shall take initiatives for dialogues in the spirit of regional and mutual cooperation for sharing of water of international rivers according to International River Law. If necessary tough international diplomatic initiatives will also be taken.
- In order to determine the stock of sea resources and flora and fauna in the Bay of Bengal(blue economy), regular scientific survey will be conducted. The data collected through the survey will be used for sustainable harvesting, use and marketing of the sea resources andflora and fauna of the sea.
Power & Energy
- To meet the requirements of desired double-digit growth rate (considering approximate demand for thirty five thousand megawatt of power by 2030), BNP will take initiatives to generate optimal amount of electricity. All types of energy sources available within the country shall be exploited to achieve the desired goal. A regional cooperation framework shall be developed as needed.
- In order to end prevailing power and energy deficit and ensure long term energy security, a well- coordinated national energy policy will be adopted and short, medium, and long term plans shall be taken up for its implementation. Least-cost generation plan shall be adopted. Correct and balanced energy- mix shall be
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ensured. Energy source will be diversified. Use of energy efficient electricity will be ensured and quality electricity shall be provided at cheaper and reasonable cost. Energy- auditing system will be introduced for the households, mills and factories and for power and energy users at Government and private sectors. Incentives shall be given for use of energy-efficient equipment, machineries and vehicles.
- Steps will be taken for modernization and rehabilitation of old and inefficient power plants on emergency basis. Dependence on domestic gas and furnace-oil shall be gradually reduced. Small, medium and large scale environment-friendly power plants shall be established in order to put permanent end to electricity crisis. In future more emphasis will be gradually given on renewable energy as dependable source for power generation. For reducing carbon emission various measures will be taken including generation of power from renewable energy, especially, solar energy, wind-power, geo-thermal, ocean waves, bio-gas and wastes. Transmission and distribution system shall be developed in line with power generation.
- Fuel price in the domestic market shall be determined in consonance with fuel price in the world market. Energy source will be diversified to generate power at economic price. A new 5 million ton capacity crude oil refinery shall be set up at a suitable place.
- Effective measures shall be taken for survey and tapping of new gas field and different mineral resources including oil at different places of the country and the Bay of Bengal. To ensure national energy security initiative will be taken to connect Bangladesh with the Gulf countries, Iran and Middle-east countries and Pakistan and India through inter – country gas line.
- Initiatives shall be taken for least cost hydro- electricity generation, development of inter-country distribution system and regional energy security through development of regional water management and expansion of regional cooperation.
- Filthy corruption has taken place in the name of in-transparent Quick-Rental power plants where immoral indemnity has been given to cover up corruption. This propelled repeated increase of electricity price causing untold suffering to the people. BNP will establish transparency in procurement and sale process in the power and energy sector. Electricity and Energy Rapid Supply Increase Act 2010 will be amended after due examination.
- Supply of energy like electricity, LNG, LPG etc. to mass people and mills and industries at reasonable price shall be ensured through balanced equilibrium of imported and domestically produced energy.
- Regular geological survey shall be conducted to discoverdepletable resource like gas, oil etc. in the sea. Dependable policy and strategy shall be adopted for lifting, use and marketing of the resource so tapped.
- In energy generation safe and secure use of nuclear Power shall be ensured. The issue of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant will be re examined.
- BNP shall formulate an industrial sector friendly policy to attract domestic and foreign investment. Countrywide integrated industry infrastructure shall be developed on the basis of three basic variables popularly called 3 I’s – Incentive, infrastructure, institution. The Board of Investment and all other related institutions
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shall be strengthened and their efficiency enhanced through adopting rational policy and strategy. Initiatives will be taken to bring to Bangladesh overseas industrial units that are being relocated after proper scrutiny.
- A strategy of building less land intensive industries, especially service industries will be adopted considering land scarcity in Bangladesh.
- The success that have been achieved in the RMG sector will be maintained and further expanded and initiative will be taken to diversify the industrial sector, and Bangladesh shall be turned into a land of sustainable industrially developed country.
- The process of establishing industrial parks and special economic zone in different important spots of the country will be accelerated. The private sector will be given assistance for setting up all types of promising industrial units. Small, medium, and labour intensive industries will be given special support.
- Export-oriented industries will be established, while industries for local market capable of competing with foreign products will also be setup; and private initiative will be given incentives for this purpose.
- Heavy industries will be setup along with small and medium industries.
- Initiatives shall be taken to establish Precision industries.
- Small and medium enterprises will be given all out support. Venture capital shall be made available at easier terms. The scope ofstart-up fund for medium enterprises will be expanded. They will be given technical advice, interest at lower rate, and various other incentives.
Communication (Road, Rail and Waterways)
- Rail and water ways will be given priority in order to develop communication infrastructure of the country. A multimodal communication system will be developed throughout the country by reconstructing and rejuvenating rail, road and water transport system.
- A deep sea port will be built in the Bay of Bengal in the vicinity of Chittagong coastal area and it will be turned into a regional hub. The deep sea port will be connected with the capital city Dhaka and the neighboring countries through a super-highway.
- The efficiency of Chittagong and Mongla port will be increased and they will be modernized to make regional and international trade and connectivity easier.
- Once Bangladesh had 24000 kilometers of navigable waterways. But by now either because of silting or drying the waterways have come down to only 3600 kilometers. This is a horrible picture of riverine Bangladesh. A mega project will be taken up to recover selected waterways and their multi-purpose use through dredging of rivers. The multi-purpose use of these rivers will be serving as a source of surface water, fisheries, boosting the flow of surface water, and recharging underground water.
- Underground tunnels will be built under Karnaphully, Buriganga, Gomoti, Padma, Jamuna and Meghna rivers.
- To ensure safety of passengers and transportation on waterways, safe ships will be increased in the private sector and landing stations will also be increased on the
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bank of Buriganga and other rivers. Faster moving passenger ships will be introduced in Dhaka-Chandpur and Dhaka-Barisal routes.
- Necessary shipping infrastructure including pontoons will be set up in small ports and ghats spreading over different remote areas of Bangladesh.
- Like Pangaon, container terminal built during last BNP government, necessary number of container terminals will be built at different industrial belts of the county including Dhaka, Gazipur, and Narayanganj.
- To make communication and transport safe and comfortable between islands and the coastal areas, necessary infrastructure will be built up and necessary number of coastal ships will be introduced.
- The whole country shall be brought under rail network through building Dhaka-Laksam cord line, Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar and Dhaka-Barisal railway line. Fast trains shall be introduced among Dhaka and other divisional cities. Thus all the districts of the country will be brought under rail network in phases.
- Bangladesh will be connected with Asian Highway. Initiatives will be taken to establish regional road connectivity and rail connection between Dhaka and Kunming.
- To solve traffic jam problem of the cities including Dhaka and Chittagong, traffic system shall be revamped.
- For further development of road transportation, second JamunaBridge, second Padma Bridge at Paturia-Daulotdia points and Brahmaputra Bridge shall be constructed. More bridges shall be constructed over the rivers Buriganga, Meghna, Gomoti, and Karnaphully. Necessary bridges will be constructed over small and big rivers.
- Dhaka-Chittagong express highway will be constructed to facilitate fast movement between Dhaka and Chittagong. Highways throughout the country will be developed into four lanes in phases. Road network such as national highways, regional highways, Upazilla connecting roads, and local roads will be developed appropriately and their maintenance will be ensured.
- Initiatives for establishing road and rail communication network with SAARC and ASEAN countries will be taken. Initiative will also be taken to be connected with ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative of People’s China.
- Bangladesh, ‘the queen of all countries’, has not yet become attractive for the tourists. Tourism policy shall be updated to achieve the goal of popularization of tourist industry, its expansion and development and make Bangladesh a tourist friendly destination. The entry points into Bangladesh will be made cleaner, hassle free, and service oriented. All measures will be taken to make attractive the facial view of Bangladesh by cleaning the big cities. Creative strategies shall be adopted to expand the tourist industry in a densely populated and land scarce country like Bangladesh.
- The main capital of tourism industry is nature and culture. Through conserving these assets a sustainable development of tourism especially eco-tourism shall be adopted. It is possible to attract tourist by planned development of Bangladeshi villages through developing model facilities. Age old cultural themes prevailing in
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the villages such as Jari Song, Sari Song, Gombhira, Jatra and Pala, village sports and games like LathiKhela (Stick Fight), Village Drums Beating, Art and Craft, the greenery of the villages, rivers and canals, journey by boat, and boat race etc. can be attractive to the domestic and foreign tourist. Village-tourism shall be developed at least in one village in every district with facilities for overnight stay. Other attractive elements of village-tourism will be village Pithas, plucking fresh fruits from the fruit trees. Along with public, private initiatives will be encouraged in this regard.
- Historic and archeological sites of Bangladesh shall be developed as attractive spots for the tourists. Other than those spots places like Cox’s Bazar, Kuakata, Rangamati, Khagrachori, Bandarban, Sundarban, Sylhet, Garo Hills, and few other coastal and river bank sites will be developed as special tourist spots.
- Ethnic tourism and water tourism will be developed in different relevant spots of the country.
- Tourism friendly laws shall be enacted for the coordinated and planned development of tourism. Travelling procedures for the foreign tourists will be made simpler and easier. Safe and comfortable travel and housing facilities will be ensured for foreign and local tourists. Trained interpreters and tourist guides shall be ensured to help and assist foreign tourists.
- Tourism shall be created as an employment generating and poverty ameliorating sector through local and foreign investment. Modern tourist facilities and infrastructure shall be ensured in the tourist spots of the country. Small and medium investors in the tourism sector shall be given low cost credit and tax holiday so that interested entrepreneurs can avail the opportunity of self-employment and local youths get jobs.
- In order to make old Dhaka city attractive to the tourists, different historical sites and old buildings and structures shall be conserved and refurbished. Traditional food and drinks of old Dhaka will be presented before the tourists in a hygienic and aesthetic manner.
- As a recognition of contribution to the development of tourism industry, tourism award will be introduced in the private and public sector.
- Bangladesh embassies/high commission abroad shall take initiatives and ensure necessary publicity to encourage over-seas tourist to visit Bangladesh.
Conservation of Resources
- Capital and material assets that we build up and renewable natural resources that are used up are hardly maintained and replenished in Bangladesh. This culture of non-conservation erodes our economy and reduces resource flows for the use of future generation. This lack of conservation of resources also tells upon the benefit stream and longevity of development projects. BNP shall make indefatigable efforts to rejuvenate forests, store up water available in the monsoon for use in the dry season through excavating canals, water reservoirs, recycling of water and maintaining water quality. Too much mining of ground water will be gradually substituted by making surface water available.
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- A detailed and intensive survey of our sea resources (blue economy) will be undertaken and ensure their prudent exploitation and use. Sea resources shall be protected from plunder by hostile powers.
- In Bangladesh there are many spots of scenic beauty. These spots have been subjected to demographic invasion over the years. The government shall identify these spots and develop them for enjoyment by the tourists.
- Rivers that have been polluted and captured through human intervention and human greed shall be restored to their original state. Revitalization of polluted and occupied rivers will go a long way towards development of aquatic resources, irrigation and river transportation. Char areas of the country will be developed as pastures and grazing land for bovine animals to increase the abundance of milk and meat.
- Frequent digging of roads and breaking road dividers cause immense sufferings to the people and destroy assets. BNP wants to adopt far reaching and coordinated planning to come out of this culture.
Social Pathological Problem
- To save the adolescent and the youth from the curse of drugs, extensive awareness program shall be launched. Law preventing imports, production and illegal entry of drugs in Bangladesh will be strictly enforced. The factors which are responsible for smuggling of drugs from across the borders shall be identified and dealt with. Drug addicts derailed by frustration and other psychic conditions shall be provided psychological support for their rehabilitation. The number of clinical psychologists, psychic disorder specialists and psycho-therapists is very limited in Bangladesh. Universities and medical colleges will be given necessary support and assistance to raise the number of persons dealing with psychic disorders.
- Bangladesh has done well in disaster management like floods, cyclones and tidal-surge; but many things more are yet to be done in these areas. A new type of disaster that looms large on the horizon is earthquake. Bangladesh has experienced moderate to nearly dangerous tremors in the recent years. It is apprehended that a severe earthquake may cause serious havocs to living souls and structures.
Preparedness for facing earth-quake disaster is almost absent. BNP considers earthquake as a serious threat to living being/animals and development. In order to face earthquake disaster large volunteer-corps shall be raised to assist the relevant government agencies.Modern and heavyequipment’s for rescue operations shall be procured, and post-earthquake relief and rehabilitation including providing curative and life-saving health services shall be put in place. An initiative for planned and comprehensive earthquake disaster management will be set in earnest.
Chittagong Hill Tracts & Backward Areas
- Life, property, prestige, and status of the small ethnic groups of hill and plain lands will be well protected.
- Backward ethnic groups living in hills and plain lands will be given all sorts of advantages to avail jobs and education. Development activities of Chittagong Hill Tracts shall be further strengthened.
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- Language, literature, and cultural uniqueness of the small ethnic groups of hill and plain lands will be protected and initiatives shall be taken for their even development. A separate Directorate for the development of ethnic groups will be established.
- Discrimination made towards the tea plantation workers and violation of their human rights will be effectively brought to an end.
- Special programs will be taken up to uplift the standard of living of the backward people living at slums and alluvial formations (Char), haors and baors and penury-stricken areas.
- Social, political, economic and religious rights and right to life, liberty and property of all small and big nationalities provided in the constitution will be fully protected and secured irrespective of cast and creed and party following and opinion.
- Followers of every religion shall enjoy full rights to practice their religious beliefs and rituals. No one will be allowed to hurt any citizen’s religious belief.
- Any attempt to destroy communal harmony will be sternly dealt with.
Realization of our Vision is difficult but not impossible. We had liberated our country through great liberation struggle. It’s our solemn duty to transform our country into a developed and dignified nation. We hope we shall be getting sincere support of the development partners and active support of our people.
We strongly believe that the entire people of our country irrespective of cast and opinion shall extend their all-out support to realize this Vision in recognition of the great contribution of the founder of BNP, proclaimer of our great independence Shahid President Ziaur Rahman in achieving our independence, restoration of democracy and economic development, and our uncompromising and relentless struggle.
May the all-merciful Allah help us in realizing this Vision for the over-all well-being of our country and her people.
Page 27 of 28
(BNP Communication) — The following is the English rendition of a press statement of BNP Chairperson and former PM Begum Khaleda Zia on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Dear Notable Journalists,
I want to inform our nation clearly about some issues through you. You know, as prime minister Sheikh Hasina returned home after concluding her visit to India from April 7-10. She spoke at a press conference on Tuesday about her visit to India. During her visit many treaties and MOUs have been signed keeping the people of Bangladesh completely in the dark. Details of those treaties and MOUs have not been made public.
Along with our people we too were also worried even before the treaties and MOUs were signed and before she started her visit to India. The government didn’t feel the need to discuss with the political parties and experts or civil society regarding these issues. That is why the people were worried. After she finished her tour to India it became evident she did not raise the vital matters that relate to Bangladesh. Rightful share of the Teesta River water, the Ganges barrage project, border killing, and lifting blockade against Bangladesh’s business in the form of tariff and non-tariff barriers, did not make any progress.
Dear Journalist Friends,
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-BNP is a most popular political organization in the country and as the largest national political platform, BNP truly represents our people. This is why the BNP can’t stay silent about the issues important for the present and future of Bangladesh. You know, the present regime doesn’t represent the majority of the people. The Awami League organized a circus in the name of election on January 5, 2014, while it was in power. Even before the election day, more than the half of the total MPs—154 MPs—were declared elected uncontested. In the remaining voting the BNP and other major political parties didn’t participate. Even, international election monitoring bodies didn’t sent their representatives to observe the elections.
Not only that, the voters didn’t turn up at the voting centers responding to our call to boycott the one-party election. By a machination of the partisan election commission, and with the acquiescence of law enforcement agencies, huge numbers of false votes were shown cast making the figure 40%. But you saw 5% was actual amount of votes cast. In the many centers, there were no votes at all. The parliament, formed through such a farcical election, does not have any acceptable opposition either. This unelected government clearly does not have any moral ground and it therefore doesn’t have any authority to sign any treaty or MOU at national, regional and international levels.
Along with the concerned citizens of the country and the world, you also saw how our neighboring country, India, played a naked role supporting the controversial non-participatory January 5, 2014 election. It’s well known, the then Indian foreign secretary played an open role to materialize the AL’s evil design. This is why, our people believe India is helping the current unelected and unpopular government, and with the help of India this regime has stayed in power. The people also believe, the current regime didn’t protect our national interest while signing the deals with India. It’s just repaying India to show its gratitude. Through this our national interest and respect have been sacrificed and compromised immensely and this has also curbed our sovereignty. Sheikh Hasina said she is satisfied with her visit to India; but the people of Bangladesh are not be happy, rather they are very apprehensive.
Various political parties, civil society, and concerned patriotic people and groups strenuously called for not signing any deals regarding defense issues with India. A national unity was generated regarding this. On behalf of the majority people of Bangladesh, the BNP also asked the government not to sign defense MOUs with India. Despite all these calls from every quarter, several deals on defense matters were signed. Along with the people of Bangladesh, the BNP is also worried about the long-term effects of these deals. The BNP has been in a movement across the country to fulfill the primary demand of reviving democracy in the country, despite facing oppressive atrocities like arrest, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. We have differences with the ruling regime on various issues but we can all agree to stand for a position that can protect our independence and sovereignty and the self-control of our institutions related to national security and interests. We could express support to the PM if she stood strongly for the interests of Bangladesh. Unfortunately, she failed in this regard and made Bangladesh a part of India’s defense strategy.
We can clearly state that we don’t have any enmity with India. We remember the contribution of India in our struggle to achieve our Independence in 1971. To make our Independence more meaningful, we believe open dialogue and discussion with India as our large neighboring country, to solve problems and facilitate opportunities in economy, commerce, water, power and energy sectors. We want to live in peace and mutual cooperation with the people of India. Even though India is a large democratic country, the people of Bangladesh are enraged having experienced the past Indian governments’ bias against democracy in Bangladesh. We believe, the present regime in India will come out from that error and will respect Bangladesh’s peoples’ democratic sentiments. Dealing with undemocratic and anti-people regimes cannot be a success. It’s been proven in the past that without people’s support, no deals can be fruitful.
A peace deal for 25 years was signed after the independence of Bangladesh, but the deal wasn’t materialized with the change of governments. So, keeping the people in the dark, signing a sensitive defense pact or MOU with India can only increase the distrust and misunderstanding between two countries.
As a downstream country we have the right to get our share of river water. This is not a matter of begging or generosity. Sharing of the Teesta waters is a matter between two independent nations. The Central government of India has to solve this matter. Bangladesh’s sovereignty was compromised with the involvement of a third party as the Chief Minister of an Indian state was also engaged in this issue. Indian foreign secretary told journalists that “the use of the $50 crore credit under defense security MOU not had been finalized. We will give preference to the Bangladesh government what arms they would buy.” From this it is evident that whatever Sheikh Hasina may say, Bangladesh has to buy arms from India. Experts have said, because of the defense MOUs with India the syllabus, curriculum and many other academic matters of Bangladesh the Indian defense forces could interfere.
We also observed with great anxiety that no concrete initiatives were taken by India to remove tariff and non-tariff hindrances for Bangladesh’s exports.
The PM even didn’t do anything to remove anti-dumping clause India is using to block Bangladesh’s jute export to India. It’s said in the joint statement, that border killing will be minimized to zero. But the people of our country don’t believe this anymore. Sheikh Hasina also failed to get consent of India regarding proposed the Ganges barrage project; rather she agreed to the Indian proposal of conducting a feasibility study of this barrage again.
Dear Journalist Friends,
If there is no popular and democratically elected government in power, it cannot attain the rightful national interests from other countries. This is why, whatever this government says, it couldn’t even can’t get the deals done on the basis of equality and honor with India. And this is why, the whole nation watched with utmost wonder that Sheikh Hasina said herself yesterday at the press conference that she didn’t go to India for getting anything. She went there for friendship and she got it. Let the people of our country examine what this so called friendship is worth. Nevertheless, from her own statement it is clear Sheikh Hasina has categorically admitted that she couldn’t achieve anything from India. Rather she has delivered all that India.
Instead of not revealing the details of the treaties and MOUs she signed during her visit to India, she asked the people of Bangladesh to keep confidence in her. But the sad reality is, keeping confidence in her, the people have not received anything. Instead they lost all their rights including the right to vote. People have already seen she signed many anti-state deals one after another. People noted with great frustration and regret that in the name of defense, arms purchase, line of credit, nuclear power, diesel and power import, increasing connectivity, space exploration and cyber security and on many other issues she has signed treaties and MOUs, all of which are helping India to increase its influence over Bangladesh in the form of defense, political and geopolitical tactics. Sheikh Hasina’s claim of successes of her government at her press conference, are mostly baseless, false and one-sided.
Governance is a continuous process. Many initiatives which were taken by our BNP government, later came to fruition. But she has claimed those as her successes too. People of this country know, in the defense sector what late President Ziaur Rahman Bir Uttam and BNP government did. It was late president Ziaur Rahman who built the basis of our armed forces and protected its esteem and solidarity removing all the negligence to it. He modernized the armed forces. Due to the continuation of that strategy and policy, our armed forces have achieved an admirable position in the world. This contribution of the late president cannot be diminished despite sustained propaganda. Experts are worried that if we import arms for this world class force from an arms-importing country, the standard of our forces will fall. For peaceful use of nuclear power, we had a treaty with Russia. In this case now involving a third country will create huge risks. Bangladesh’s standard in the judicial system and many other successes can be also hampered in the name of cooperation.
To exploit the sentiments of the Muslim-dominated society, Sheikh Hasina arranged an Alem conference before her visit to India. After returning from India, she met with Hefajat-e-Islam influenced Kowmi Madrasas’ Olama-ekarms, yesterday. The people of this country have definitely not forgetten her past attitude toward the religious sentiments of the people. Now she has start to play with religion. In the past, she had signed an agreement to introduce Shariah law in the country with the same political organization. Now again she is trying to fool the people by promising acceptance of Qawmi certificates. Our government had taken steps to modernize Madrasa education system. In 2006, our government gave the Qawmi Madrasas the required credentials. The gazette notification of that order was also published. That was later implemented in the colleges and universities. But it wasn’t fully implemented because of the negative mentality of the anti-madrasa government during the last eleven years.
Yesterday, Sheikh Hasina again repeated the falsehood that foreigners wanted to instituted BNP in power. This allegation is totally false. We have friends in the world, but no masters. Not as a result of foreign conspiracy, but BNP was voted to power by the people of Bangladesh. But it’s the AL which created the worst examples of forming government with the help and support of foreign assistance. To answer Sheikh Hasina’s allegation I want to say categorically the BNP never used our armed forces for political interest. Rather the AL did that. They made it mandatory for the members of the armed forces to be included in Bakshal. They openly supported Ershad’s coup and Moin’s and also supported the coup attempt by Gen Nasim. So they can’t absolve themselves by shoving their misdeeds on to others.
Dear Journalist Friends,
The people of Bangladesh are not happy to see who welcomed Sheikh Hasina in Delhi, where she was put up or what type of reception she was given and what appreciations of her late father were recited during her tour of India. Bangladesh’s people eagerly want to know whether they received what are rightfully theirs in the treaties and MOUs. Those don’t depend on the number of treaties or MOUs and the verbiage of friendships. Unfortunately despite these dazzling programs, Bangladesh continues to remain deprived. In fact, more harm will now come to Bangladesh. In the joint statement, the issue of democracy that was mentioned, unfortunately that democracy isn’t present in our country. People don’t have any rights, there is no law, order and justice. People have been struggling to get back their basic right to vote to form a government of their choice. That a democratic India will be beside us in our struggles to establish democracy in Bangladesh, that’s what the people of our land expect. Only in this way can the friendship and cooperation between the peoples of these two countries become stronger and richer.
Thanks to all of you.
Allah Hafez, Bangladesh Zindabad.
(BNP Communication) — “I hope, you (the citizens of Narayanganj) will attain a silent revolution in the NCC poll on December 22,” Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia said in a media statement Monday urging the people of Narayanganj to vote for her party candidate Shakhawat Hossain protesting the government’s misdeeds and mismanagement.
She also urged the people of Narayanganj, BNP leaders and activists and allies to exercise restraint in the face of any kind of provocation.
Narayanganj City Corporation election is very important to establish democracy and bring back peace in the country, she added.
The BNP chief also asked the leaders and activists of the BNP-led 20-party alliance to work hard and play their active role to ensure victory of the party backed candidate Shakhawat Hossain Khan.
Begum Zia asked the election commission, local administration, law enforcement agencies, the ruling party and the government to maintain fair, peaceful and free atmosphere in the entire Narayanganj area before, after and on the day (Dec. 22) of voting for Narayanganj City Corporation.
She noted that though till now no major incident of violence had taken place, but issuance of threats and obstructing electioneering of opposition candidates by the ruling party supporters have occurred.
Former prime minister and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia Sunday asked the Bangladesh government to provide shelter to the murderously hounded Rohingya people of Myanmar on humanitarian ground.
Begum Zia in a statement issued today, also urged the other countries and the Muslim world to stand beside the repressed Rohingya.
“I am calling upon all humanitarian states, specially the Muslim world, the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other international organizations to come forward to compel the Myanmar government to establish peace and stop the persecution of the Rohingyas,” she added.
“It is a matter of great regret,” said the BNP chief, “that no military ruler is responsible for these atrocities, but a Nobel peace prize laureate. We are stunned as how she (Suu Kyi) ignores such a massacre after being herself repressed for long.”
Begum Zia strongly urged the government of Myanmar to stop the genocide immediately so that the Rohingya people are not victimized any longer.