Rejecting the proposal of dialogue with main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) outright, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked, “Who is the opposition? Those who kill people? Question doesn’t arise at all to hold dialogue with killers.”
She made the remarks while addressing a press conference on the outcome of her October 24-26 visit to Belgium at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
The Prime Minister asked, “Dialogue with whom? Which is the opposition party in [Bangladesh]? The opposition is those political parties which have seats in parliament. Opposition means, which has elected representatives in parliament. Nothing happens beyond this. Even, it doesn’t happen in the United States.”
Sheikh Hasina said why he (Ambassador Peter Haas) was not asked about the killing of the people. They talk about Hero Alam. “Why we should sit in dialogue with the killers? Why should we sit in dialogue with those who had killed people in such a manner? Let him (Peter Haas) to have dinner. People of Bangladesh hate BNP and Jamaat.”
She said the people of Bangladesh won’t want dialogue with these killers as well. “Rather the people of Bangladesh now hate them, BNP and Jamaat, for their terrorist activities. They’ve lost what they earned (through peaceful programmes).”
The Prime Minister said she will go for dialogue with the opposition if the US President Joe Biden does the same with former president and 2024 US presidential candidate Donald Trump.
She added, “Is (US President) Biden holding dialogue with Mr Trump? If Biden sits with Trump for dialogue, then I will hold the dialogue (with opposition).”
The prime minister criticized the international organization of journalists for remaining silent over the attack on 40-45 journalists by BNP men on October 28 last.
Sheikh Hasina further said, “Election will happen, and it will happen in time. Perhaps, you believe that development takes place if democracy prevails in a country. What should we sit in dialogue with the killers. They have killed people in such a manner. Are they human beings? Everything has been recorded.”
Hasina returned home on Friday morning after wrapping up her three-day official visit to Belgium. In Brussels, she attended the “Global Gateway Forum-2023” at the invitation of the European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen.
During her stay in Brussels, the premier had a number of meetings with leaders of European countries, the European Commission (EC), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Parliament as well as attended a community reception on the sidelines of the Forum.