A futile exercise
The parliamentary elections in Bangladesh, sans the participation of the country’s largest opposition party - the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), has made the politically volatile country a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. The outcome was obvious and the entire episode has received worldwide condemnation. The West has particularly been vociferous in its criticism.
If Bangladesh seeks a way forward that is in keeping with its strong democratic traditions, the government of Bangladesh should make sincere endeavors to provide political space to all its citizens and political parties to freely express their political views and exercise their right to vote without any fear or undue hindrance. On the other hand, one would be fully justified in asking the opposition to exercise restraint and use such space peacefully and responsibly in the larger interest of the people and country.
M. Fazal Elahi