US officials’ visits to Bangladesh signal close ties: Hasan

Information and Broadcasting Minister and Awami League (AL) Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud today said the visit of the US officials to Bangladesh is a sign of close relations between the two countries.

“Many US officials have recently visited Bangladesh while more US officials would come soon. We welcome them. The visit of the US officials is a sign of close relations between us,” he said, replying to a question of reporters at the meeting room of the ministry here.

Dr Hasan said the relations between Bangladesh and the US is multidimensional. “We’ve security related cooperation with them (US) and we work through multilateral cooperation in the global arena. The US is also playing an important role in the development of Bangladesh,” he added.

Replying to another query over a comment of BNP secretary general as he told the EU representatives that elections will not be possible under any political government, the information minister said the people are the owner of the country.

He said the countrymen will decide who will go to the state power. If they have any complaint, BNP can go to the people, not to the foreigners, he added.

He said the upcoming general elections will be held like those in other democratic countries including Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium and other European Union countries and the UK where the incumbent governments perform as the polls-time government.

Urging BNP to go to the people instead of foreigners, the minister said the polls will be held as per the constitution.

Replying to another query over the declaration of BNP’s one-point movement to begin from Chattogram to topple the government, Dr Hasan said BNP’s founder Ziaur Rahman was killed in Chattogram due to internal clash. Sometimes they announce one-point movement. It is a matter to be seen whether the movement dies in Chattogram or not, he added.

The minister said the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is not under any pressure. The government had tackled the violence carried out by BNP in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the name of politics, he added.

He said BNP has no ability to stage such incidents and it will not be possible due to geopolitics.

He said BNP boycotted the city corporation polls and even the BNP leaders had urged their local leaders, activists and the common people to avoid the elections and not to go to the polling centre. But about 50 percent votes were casted despite their negative campaigns. So, the countrymen will take part in the next polls largely, he added.

Earlier, Dr Hasan uncovered a book titled ‘Parbotto Chattogram Shanti Chukti: Sangbadpothre Pratifalan’ (Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord: Reflection on Newspapers) published by Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB).

PIB director general Zafar Wazed, director Abul Kalam Mohammad Shamsuddin and writer and researcher Popy Debi Thapa, among others, joined the function.

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