Bangladesh opposition leader refuses to ease crisis

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia blames government for 2-month long political crisis that has killed more than 100 people

Bangladesh opposition leader refuses to ease crisis

World Bulletin / News Desk

The leader of Bangladesh's opposition refused to back down over a political stand-off that has hit the country for almost three months. 

In her first speech since the crisis began on Jan. 5 Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister and the leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, accused current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the ongoing instability, which has killed more than 120 people. 

The former prime minister told reporters at her office in the capital, Dhaka that "the root of all problems" was the scrapping of a caretaker government mechanism for elections, which led to the Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotting Jan. 5 2014 general elections. 

"The government should come to a dialogue and only that may fix the situation," said Zia. "If they don't want any dialogue, then they have to take responsibility for all consequences."

Zia's party has imposed a nationwide campaign of anti-government agitation that has involved a series of nationwide shutdowns -- which have covered every working day in the past month -- and a comprehensive transport blockade that has seen passenger buses and personal vehicles frequently attacked by petrol bombs. 

Zia denied that her party was responsible for the petrol bomb attacks, instead claiming that the ruling Awami League were using the attacks to smear the Bangladesh Nationalist Party's reputation. 

She also accused the government of abducting and carrying out extrajudicial killings of Bangladesh Nationalist Party activists.

Last Mod: 13 Mart 2015, 14:11
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