BNP condemns ‘passport issue’

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the silence of the Home Ministry on the issue of removing the words ‘except Israel’ from Bangladeshi passports has exhibited the government’s amoral position.

“The ban on travel to Israel from Bangladeshi passports has been lifted at a time when the Palestinian city of Gaza has become a Death Valley following Israeli airstrikes. The world conscience has got upended with this,” he said.

The BNP leader said the Israeli government through a tweet welcomed the removal of the travel ban on the country by the Bangladesh government. “The Foreign Ministry later declared Bangladesh’s unchanged position on the travel ban on Israel. But the silence of the Home Ministry has exposed an amoral position of the government on the issue.”

He made the remarks at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office on Monday. BNP arranged the press conference reaffirming the party’s support to Palestine.

Fakhrul alleged that the Awami League government is now busy appeasing those foreign powers just to cling to power ignoring the country’s people as it has no people’s “mandate” to rule the country.

He said since the formation of the provisional government formed in 1971, Bangladesh has been extending its all-out cooperation and moral and spiritual support to the independence-loving Palestinians. “But we’ve observed with deep frustration, shame and anger that the current illegitimate government has limited its responsibilities to issuance of a simple statement against the recent Israeli attack on Palestinian citizens.”

The BNP leader said people came to know through an investigative report of Al Jazeera that the current government bought a surveillance device or spying equipment from Israel using a third country. “This device is constantly being used by the state to commit crimes of human rights violations…the government is carrying out these immoral and illegal activities by dodging people,” he alleged.

Replying to a question about what the Bangladesh government could do in favour of Palestine during the airstrikes by Israel, Fakhrul said, “It could do many things. The head of the government, who dubbed as a global leader (by her party leaders), could have taken an initiative to unite the Muslim countries in favour of Palestine and stand against Israel.”

Besides, he said, the prime minister could send assistance on a large scale from the government to Palestine.

Fakhrul said their party thinks US President Joe Biden’s statement on creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel is the “only answer” to the conflict is very significant and can pave the way to resolve the long-standing conflict.

“The two-state idea is the only way to establish peace in the Middle East. Joe Biden’s call for an end to inter-communal fighting in Jerusalem, the epicentre of the conflict, is a clear manifestation of respect and support of the democracy-loving people of the USA towards establishing the rights of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Fakhrul, on behalf of BNP, has sincerely congratulated Joe Biden and the people of his country and expressed gratitude to them for taking such a clear stance in resolving the Middle East crisis.


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