Bangladesh not under dual rule; army has no political role: Ahmed

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Dhaka, Sep 14 (UNI) Army-backed caretaker government chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed today said Bangladesh was not placed under a dual rule and the armed forces were not playing any political role.

"I don't feel the existence of dual rule. The army is assisting the civil government in curbing corruption, improving law and order and distributing flood relief. I don't see the reflection of their political role through these activities," he said in an interview with BBC (Bangla Service) broadcast.

The Chief Adviser said the reasons that had called for promulgation of emergency on January 11 had not all disappeared, but assured that the emergency would be lifted at an appropriate time.

On formation of National Security Council, he said the government was pondering over the matter as such institution existed in neighbouring countries, but no final decision has yet been arrived at.

Asked if the government or its agencies are engaged in changing leadership of major parties or splitting the parties through reform process, Dr Ahmed refuted the allegation, saying ''it is an internal affair of the parties to decide about their leadership and running their parties''.

He said lifting of the ban on indoor politics had created an atmosphere for political parties to sit with the Election Commission for discussing reforms of election rules and regulations.

About the restriction imposed after lifting the ban on indoor politics, Dr Ahmed said these were not conditions, but some explanations or parameters to give a clear idea about the indoor politics so those who would practice it would not face any confusion.

Asked why the state of emergency is not being relaxed after eight months of its promulgation, the Chief Adviser said it was imposed against an extraordinary background. The government was moving ahead with a certain mission to hold a free, fair and democratic election acceptable to all.

For that, he said, it needed completion of certain tasks and reforms. The Election Commission is preparing electoral roll with voters' photographs and reforming certain election rules and regulations through discussions with political parties.

Dr Ahmed said already a ban on the indoor politics had been withdrawn and in this process, the emergency would be lifted at an appropriate time.

He said the emergency was not causing any problem for general people, for the media or for national economy.

Dr Ahmed admitted that due to emergency some fundamental rights might be denied, but this was a temporary measure for long-term welfare of the nation.

This temporary arrangement, he said, would continue for some time more as the government was conducting the twin tasks of holding a national election and curbing corruption, which have been accepted by the people.

UNI

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