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India must play role in maintaining democratic environment in neighbouring countries: Abdul Mintoo

October 08, 2021 11:52 AM

Dhaka, Abdul Awal Mintoo, vice chairman of Bangladesh's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Thursday said India must play a role in maintaining democratic environment in neighbouring countries.

We consider India as a secular country. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi restructured India with this ideology. Bangladesh has no headache about NRC, because this is an internal matter of India. I think India is a strong state. We want India to move forward with its head held high economically in the world. The conflict on Muslims eating cows is not good for India, he said.

Abdul Awal Mintoo said this in an exclusive interview with UNI Today.

He said India-China should come to an understanding on the issue of Seven Sisters. If there is peace between the two big states, Bangladesh will also be at peace.

BNP will cooperate with India in this regard. Bangladesh has no headache regarding the issues of NRC and Seven Sisters.

However, the BNP must be vigilant so that no group can use the land of Bangladesh to play any political and social game in India's internal affairs and create any chaos in India.

But one thing to keep in mind is that we cannot cooperate with India by going inside that country. We are ready to do any type of cooperation with India from our country.

He said that 80% people of Bangladesh believe one thing in their minds is that at present there is no democracy in this country, the opposition party BNP has no right to do politics, BNP’s leaders and workers have no security. India is responsible for this.

I think India is a big democratic country. If India wants to move forward economically and democratically, it must play a role in maintaining a democratic environment in neighbouring countries as well. This is the responsibility of India, he said.

Because, we think India is a neighbouring country of Bangladesh. Bangladesh would not have been independent in 1971 without India's cooperation.

The BNP leader thinks that the legally and constitutionally established institutions of Bangladesh are now completely paralyzed. There is no accountability anywhere. He drew India's attention to the issue of ensuring proper accountability in this regard.

Mr. Abdul Awal Mintoo said that Afghanistan could be excluded from SAARC, if necessary, to maintain the purpose for which the martyred President Ziaur Rahman had formed SAARC.

He said, no matter what the US-China do, SAARC must be strengthened in this region to be free from the influence of military power. The countries will benefit commercially. Then everyone will love these countries. India has to play a constructive role for SAARC. I am not only a BNP leader, but also a leading business leader in Bangladesh. I think India will be the most benefited in SAARC. We may get some commercial benefits.

Commenting on Bangladesh's recent participation in the Quad, Abdul Awal Mintoo said, Bangladesh is now very self-sufficient in terms of production. We import very few things from abroad. Almost everything is being produced in this country. So why should we join the Quad? We don't need it.

Regarding the BNP being the main opposition party in the country, Abdul Awal Mintoo said, We are fine now. The police beat us and we stay at home. Incident like forced disappearance is happening, prices of essentials are going up in the country, while the government of Sheikh Hasina is saying lies one after another.

The government cannot give information about the growth of a country. The World Bank and IMF are fed up with the government of Bangladesh on the issues.
Because, the growth of 2018-19 has been determined in the last two or three months. So, do you understand how we are? I have a statistic as to how oppressed and persecuted this country is. I'll give you a copy of it. The government must remember that growth and development are not the same thing.

Abdul Awal Mintoo said, “On the day when Hasina-led government falls, no Awami League activist will be found in this Dhaka city even if it is searched by hurricane.

When the BNP comes to power again, all will become BNP. Then no Awami League activist will be found. It has become the habit of the people of Bangladesh.

Abdul Awal Mintoo said, BNP is much stronger now than in the past. That is why, this government is very afraid of BNP. If one day democracy returns to this country and people's right to vote comes back, you will see what will be the situation of Awami League. The government will remain as long as it can stay illegally without voting by killing democracy. Just look.

The allegation against the BNP was that they had formed a government with Jamaat, the defeated force of 1971, and had taken advantage of it. Abdul Awal Mintoo said that there is a difference of opinion within the party on this issue. Past record said that Awami League formed coalition government with Jamaat. Jamaat was in the parliament during the past tenure of Awami League. Then we didn't talk about it at that time.

The Awami League has patronized this defeated force of 1971. The Awami League has used Jamaat for its own interest in the past. Remember, the BNP is a liberal democratic party. The founder of the party is martyred President Ziaur Rahman. Three times the party was in power. We have no malice towards anyone. The BNP is now moving forward as per the guidance and strong leadership of popular leader Tarique Rahman.

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