ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Pull back from further confrontation
Publication Date : 04-05-2012
It is with some sense of relief that we take the news of opposition BNP's announcing a mass demonstration programme for May 6, instead of going for hartal (shutdown). Apparently, the opposition has taken a sensible approach, which, hopefully, they will continue.
But we cannot help note the provocative and taunting remark of joint general secretary of the ruling Awami League that the opposition's movement has lost its steam after its leaders were sued by the government.
This is a very crude way of dealing with the opposition, to say the least. It is in effect goading the opposition into taking a harder line. It is ironical that the ruling party chastises the opposition when it calls hartal, but when it refrains from doing that, the former hurls invectives at the latter.
If the government has any credible and plausible evidence it must produce those first before bringing such serious allegations against the senior opposition leaders. This is purely an attempt to stifle the opposition in a manner which is a highly reprehensible by a democratically elected government. It amounts to abusing the law of the land.
Actually, by using such strong-arm tactics to harass the opposition, the ruling AL is setting a very bad precedent before the nation.
We are again reiterating our clear stand against hartal as a tool of political agitation. Having said that, we would also like to advise against pushing the opposition to the wall and depriving it of all avenues to voice its protest against the government.
It is high time that the government and the opposition shun the vicious circle of confrontation and move towards creating a congenial atmosphere to go for dialogue to address the contentious issues between them. Towards that end, the government must realise that the onus is on it. The alternative to understanding and dialogue is mutually assured destruction.