Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | ePaper

British envoy has called for dialogue but we have no politics of dialogue

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THE British High Commissioner in Bangladesh Ms Alison Blake on Tuesday stressed the importance of a dialogue between political parties to resolve differences on holding an all-inclusive general election. She further said, as a Commonwealth partner to one another, the UK, together with international partners, EU and others, will continue to encourage a peaceful way forward, and encourage dialogue between all political parties to resolve disputes.
 Well in tuned with her Excellency, we have also penned many times on the importance for holding constructive and meaningful dialogue - an essential requirement for the roadmap towards a free and fair election.
That dialogue should continue for holding peaceful, free, fair and credible polls. It is the desire of every sensible citizen of the country. However, the call is not a new one and is being played in the fashion of an old-gramophone record for many years now. And the ruling party has repeatedly turned deaf ears to that call. Since the output of all such diplomatic press conferences, especially regarding holding dialogue between the major political parties have ultimately ended with a zero. It's time the foreign envoys take the matter and discuss it with the highest authority of the government. Perhaps only their collective efforts by engaging the chiefs of political parties can bring a change in holding a meaningful dialogue.
 However, on the question about the possibility of mediation by foreign quarters, the British envoy said Bangladesh political parties 'do not need friends to mediate' as people here 'can find a way.' We are somewhat forced to disagree on this point, otherwise decades old stalemate over holding free, fair and credible polls wouldn't have continued. The country is truly in need of a permanent solution and that too with the help of the international community.
 To think that our political leaders can solve the election crisis through dialogue is not going to happen. Here we need help of our democratic friends abroad. Surely the British High Commissioner here knows the kind of politics and political leadership we have. We cannot say we have a duly elected government in the country.


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