On Board Air India One, March 5: President Pranab Mukherjee Tuesday said the current political turbulence in Bangladesh was an “internal political issue” and the rival factions of that country need to resolve it in a manner that is acceptable to all.
Asked by reporters on way back from his visit to Bangladesh what he felt about the clashes between the Islamists and authorities that have left more than 70 people dead, he said: “These are essentially internal political issues to be resolved by the political parties concerned.
“It is but natural that there will be divergence of opinion in a multi-party system, but they need to be resolved in a way that is acceptable to all parties concerned.”
The president’s visit to Bangladesh March 3-5 came at a time when the Jamaat-e-Islami party had called a two-day strike to protest the death sentence to its leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence.
Over 70 people were killed across Bangladesh since last Thursday as Jamaat activists attacked public and private property and clashed with police. The Jamaat, a key alliance member of the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP), had called a two-day strike March 3 and 4, coinciding with the visit of the Indian president. The BNP had called a strike on Tuesday.
In an apparent snub, BNP chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia called off a scheduled meeting with the president on Monday, citing security concerns over the Jamaat called hartal.
The BNP has announced it will not participate in elections due later this year, demanding that a caretaker government be installed.