No deviation from electoral roadmap: General Moeen

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Dhaka, Apr 8 (UNI) Bangladesh Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed today said there would be no deviation from holding the general election by the end of this year, categorically stating that the army has no political ambition.

''I have stated this previously and want to reemphasise this point that we have no political ambition,'' he said during a meeting with the editors of national print and electronic media at the Army Headquarters.

General Moeen, whose services were recently extended by one more year to mid-June 2009, said the army wanted to see honest and competent leadership come to power to govern the country.

The way army has discharged its responsibilities in the past and is doing so presently and will be doing it in future, he said.

Mr Ahmed hoped that the next elected government would pursue the changes made through various reforms by the present caretaker government.

Explaining the role of the armed forces, Mr Ahmed said the army was only extending cooperation to the caretaker government and certainly was not part of the government.

''This must be understood. We don't attend any cabinet meeting.

Whatever decisions are being taking, the country is running according to those decisions,'' he said.

When asked about lifting of 15-month-old state of emergency, he said the army has nothing to do with it and the government would take the decision.

Regarding political dialogue, General Moeen said this was again an affair between the government and political parties.

Terming the media as parliament in the absence of an elected parliament, the army chief said the government, different agencies and even the army were taking many actions on positive reports in the media.

''We are not media-shy, rather we want to be media-friendly,'' Mr Ahmed said.

UNI XC SLD US 2003

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