Government Policy

BNP shrugs off allegation of hiring lobbyists

BNP on Wednesday termed ‘baseless’ and ‘fabricated’ the government’s allegation of recruiting lobbyists abroad to campaign against Bangladesh.

Launching a counter attack, the party said it is the Awami League government that has been engaging lobbyists for the last 14 years to cover up its misdeeds.

“This’s a baseless and fabricated allegation. When sanctions came against an organisation and its top officials from America and when Bangladesh was not invited to the democratic summit, then this issue was raised. We want to know why this issue didn’t come up before,” said party senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.

He also said newspapers ran reports earlier that the Awami League government has been hiring lobbyists abroad for the last 14 years to hush up its misdeeds like obliterating democracy, violating human rights and plundering public money in Bangladesh.

“When such news came out in the newspapers, the government is now trying to give a reply to it with some false and fabricated documents only to confuse people,” the BNP leader said.

He made the remarks while talking to reporters on BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave premises at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city.

Earlier, Musharraf, a BNP standing committee member, along with other party leaders and activists placed a wreath at the BNP founder’s grave and offered fateha there, marking the 86th birth anniversary of Zia.

He said their party will come up with a formal reaction to the government’s allegation at a press conference soon.

On Tuesday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam alleged that BNP spent at least US$ 3.75 million on lobbyists to campaign against Bangladesh, and he shared relevant documents with the media which are also available in the public domain.

He also claimed that the Awami League government never appointed any lobbyist in its last three tenures but engaged a company purely on the media front in 2015 to help the world know Bangladesh based on facts and counter-propaganda against the country and its people.

Cementing Baksal

Later, talking to reporters, another BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas said the draft law on the Election Commission (EC) formation has been prepared to cement one-party Baksal rule.

“But we’re not interested in this matter at all. Because, we won’t go to the polls without a neutral government,” he said.

Abbas said they will not only boycott the election without a neutral government but also resist it. “We won’t allow holding any election if a neutral government is not there to oversee it.”

On Monday, the Cabinet approved the draft of the ‘Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioner Appointment Act, 2022’ to have a law in this regard as per the Constitution.

Source: United News of Bangladesh