Habibullah Mizan
The present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accepted the proposal for holding a dialogue with Oikyafront.
The decision came following a letter, undersigned by Dr Kamal Hossain, sent to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League.
In the letter, Dr Kamal wrote that the Oikyafront feels the necessity to sit in a meaningful dialogue for holding the next election in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
He requested the prime minister to take measures in this regard. And accordingly, AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Monday informed that AL has agreed to sit with Oikyafront.
“On behalf of the party, I am informing that we agree to the Oikyafront’s proposal for a dialogue,” he told a press conference at the party president’s Dhanmondi political office in the capital. Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, said Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will lead the dialogue from AL. She does not want to close the door to dialogue, he added.
The minister said Oikyafront will be informed of the time, place and other related matters of the dialogue very soon.
What happened
in last 24 hours
It is known from AL insiders that Gano Forum leader Mostofa Mohsin Montu made several phone calls to Abdus Sobhan Golap, special assistant to PM and AL office secretary, to know about the fate of the letter sent by Dr Kamal Hossain to the Prime Minister. Accordingly, Mr Golap informed the honourable prime minister. Some of the close associates present around PM raised a question of relevance of holding the dialogue with Dr Kamal Hossain who joined hands with a nexus of assassins, extremists and Jamaat.
In reply to that argument, Sheikh Hasina said, “As a prime minister of the country I cannot shut my doors for some people, I have to listen to all to make a correct judgement.”
After getting positive response from the prime minister, Mr Golap called back to the Gano Forum leader Mostofa Mohsin Montu and told him about the PM’s consent to the dialogue.
Earlier on the day the prime minister shared the issue with his cabinet colleagues while attending the weekly cabinet meeting.
“As Oikyafront wrote a letter to me seeking a dialogue, I will invite them for this purpose,” a cabinet minister quoted Sheikh Hasina from Monday’s cabinet meeting. The minister added, Monday’s cabinet meeting discussed Dr Kamal’s letter, and the prime minister expressed her positive attitude in this regard.
“Let’s talk to and hear from them what they actually want,” the head of the government continued.
As Golap had been instructed to convey the message of Sheikh Hasina to Oikyafront leaders, he informed Montu that the prime minister had agreed to sit in a dialogue.
Montu also asked Golap how many leaders would be allowed in the dialogue. Referring to the prime minister’s view, Golap said as many as they have.
Sources said the meeting would be held at Gonobhaban, PM’s official residence, in a day or two.
AL Organising Secretaries Ahmed Hossain and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, and Office Secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap were present at the press conference.
Oikyafront has been campaigning with a seven-point charter of demand including release of Khaleda Zia, chief of its key alliance member BNP, who has been awarded total twelve years jail in two graft cases. The cases were filed during the caretaker government. Their demands also include election under a non-partisan administration and deployment of army before and after the election.