Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bangladesh army takes offence of opposition leader’s remark

SALEEM SAMAD

THE BANGLADESH armed force has taken serious offence of main opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia’s statement at a public rally in Chittagong in the south.

The military press wing Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday in strongly guarded termed the remarks of the opposition leader regarding army official were ‘provocative, irresponsible, false and unexpected’.

On Monday, Zia said at a rally that the government was eliminating opposition leaders and activists not only through repression but also through abductions and secret killings. "Not only this, even army personnel are being abducted," the former prime minister had alleged.

It also said the nation does not expect such a provocative speech from an opposition leader.

The reaction issued to the press, interprets her remarks as an attempt to tarnish the image of the armed forces in a bid to create anarchy.

The ISPR press release also said the army is run through a specific military law. “Measure is taken as per the law if it is violated,” it added. There is no scope of spreading speculation here, it added.

On the other hand, the prime minister Shiekh Hasina on Tuesday scoffed off opposition leader’s call to step aside and hold an election. She instead urged the opposition leader to join parliament, which her party is boycotting for more than two years.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes on Islamic terrorism, forced migration, good governance and elective democracy. He has recently returned from exile from Canada after return of democracy. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com