Millennium Post

Ban Ki-moon writes to Hasina and Zia, calls for dialogue

Ban Ki-moon writes to Hasina and Zia, calls for dialogue
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has written to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her archrival BNP chief Khaleda Zia asking them to engage in a dialogue to end the ongoing political turmoil in the country that has claimed over 100 lives, according to a media report.

UN Chief Ban has recently sent letters to the two leaders urging them to have a dialogue to resolve the ongoing political crisis, UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told Bangladesh’s ‘Daily Star’.

Haq said that Ban informed the leaders that he has assigned UN’s assistant secretary general Oscar Fernandez- Taranco to be in contact with the government and the opposition to resolve the six weeks-long impasse. Taranco, however, has no plan for an immediate visit to Dhaka, Haq was quoted as saying by the daily.

“He (Taranco) has been tasked by the secretary general to be in contact with the Government and the opposition and he will continue with those efforts. But, at this point, like I said, there’s no travel to announce,” Haq said.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam has acknowledged that the UN chief has written to
Hasina but did not make it clear whether Ban has asked for a dialogue between the two feuding leaders.

“The letter was written about two weeks ago but we got it two days back,” he said, adding that a separate letter was also written to Zia.

Shahriar also reiterated the government’s stance on talks with Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leaders saying that, “There will be no dialogue with killers.”

Meanwhile, a UN spokesperson in its Dhaka office declined to make any comment on the matter, but said “the secretary general is gravely concerned about the situation in Bangladesh and seeks to end the violence”.

The US ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat in her maiden press briefing late yesterday said Washington “stands ready to help if the help is requested since Bangladesh’s friends all over the world were concerned over the current political situation”.

The US envoy, however, said her country would not meddle in the internal politics of Bangladesh and it was for Bangladeshis to come up with their own solutions.

Prime Minister Hasina has earlier this week rejected possibilities of proclaiming state of emergency within the constitutional provision when the military can generally be called out in aid of civil administration.

Her archrival Zia last week vowed to continue the “movement”- coinciding with the first anniversary of the controversial January 5 polls - and said “I am ready to face any consequences”.

The opposition has been demanding midterm elections since it boycotted the divisive polls last year.



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