Bangla caretaker govt to hold talks with political parties

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Dhaka, Jan 11: The caretaker government in Bangladesh has agreed to hold parleys with political parties to ensure holding of free and fair elections in the country even as leaders of two largest political parties-- Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia-- remain under custody facing corruption charges.

However, the meeting chaired by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed yesterday did not fix any timetable or agenda for the talks the political parties have been demanding to resolve the present political crisis. The major political parties have welcomed the move and asked the caretaker government to immediately announce the date for the talks.

''The government will definitely hold dialogues with the political parties today or tomorrow,'' Bangladesh's largest daily Daily Star quoted newly-appointed Adviser Maj Gen (retd) Ghulam Mohammad Quader as saying.

Gen Quader described the demand for holding talks with the political parties as 'valid' and 'logical'. Another newly-appointed Adviser Rasheda K Choudhury said the talks might take place after the Election Commission (EC) completes electoral reforms.

The riverine country today marks one year since the declaration of emergency.

Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed is likely to address the nation today, on the day he assumed the office of chief adviser last year, outlining the new measures to make the administration dynamic for holding the stalled parliamentary polls according to the electoral roadmap, sources said.


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