Monday, November 19, 2018

BNP’s Fakhrul meets UN assistant secretary-general

  • New York Correspondent, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2018-09-14 00:18:51 BdST

bdnews24

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has held a meeting with Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča at the UN headquarters amid a row with the ruling Awami League ahead of the general elections.

During the discussion on Thursday (New York time), the BNP leader brought allegations of supersession and oppression against the ruling party.

Release of Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who is now in jail in a graft case, also came up for discussion.

Before the parliamentary elections scheduled for December, the BNP secretary general's trip to the UN has sparked fresh political discussions.

Reacting to the Fakhrul’s visit, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader told reporters on Thursday, "The United Nations has called them after being troubled by their complaints.  The United Nations can do this.”

"But we will not bow down to any pressure... Election will be held as per the constitution."

In 2013, United Nations Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez Taranco came to Dhaka at the initiative of the UN secretary-general to strike a consensus between the political parties in Bangladesh.

After a series of meetings, he failed to resolve the political dispute. Then, the Awami League came to power through the elections boycotted by the BNP.

Fakhrul, accompanied by party's executive committee member Tabith Awal, and Assistant Foreign Secretary Humayun Kabir visited the UN.

At the end of the meeting, the BNP secretary general left for Washington DC.

On the outcome of the meeting, he told journalists, "Can the result be known after a one-day meeting?"

“I came here at the invitation of the secretary-general. We held talks about the political situation of Bangladesh including the upcoming elections.

“The government’s sheer hostile behavior towards with Khaleda Zia was also discussed in the meeting,” he added.

“The assistant-secretary-general for political affairs met with BNP secretary-general today in New York, at the request of BNP. DPA is routinely contacted to meet with various political actors in many countries, and this request was no exception.

“In view of upcoming elections in Bangladesh, we appeal to all sides to ensure a conducive environment for transparent, credible, inclusive and peaceful elections,” Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the secretary general, told bdnews24.com in an e-mail.

Regarding the importance of the meeting, AKA Momen, Bangladesh’s former permanent representative of the UN, told bdnews24.com, “Everything depends on the lobbyists for the countries. If those countries are very strong, then the expected results are achieved. And if those are weak, then such meetings turn into a photo session.”

“Everything will depend on who lobbied for the BNP secretary-general’s meeting," Momen added.

An UN official requesting not to be named said, “Strong support of an influential country is important to inspire the United Nations for any work.”

Fakhrul is expected to hold talks with US State Department officials in Washington, according to the BNP leaders.

On his trip, Awami League Publicity Affairs Secretary Hasan Mahmud said, "BNP has no confidence in the people of the country. That's why they are looking up to foreigners.”

“They are not complaining to the people of Bangladesh; instead, they have complained to the foreigners. This shows their political bankruptcy and no-confidence in the people. "