The United Nations (UN) says that it is concerned over the ongoing violence in Bangladesh resulting from the BNP-sponsored blockade and general strikes, report agencies.
“We are very much concerned about the violence and the loss of life that’s occurred in Bangladesh since the beginning of this year”, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said on Wednesday (New York time). Replying a query at a media briefing, Dujarric said: “The Secretary‑General is personally committed to the stability and positive development of Bangladesh”.The question on Bangladesh at the regular briefing was raised by BNP foreign affairs committee member Mushfiqul Fazal, who introduced himself as a journalist.The BNP leader asked that whether the UN should do more other than expressing concerns to hold a free, fair and credible election in Bangladesh to restore democracy. “Assistant Secretary‑General in charge of Political Affairs Oscar Fernández-Taranco has been tasked by the Secretary‑General to liaise with the (Bangladesh ) government and he’s doing just that,” replied Dujarric.
Raising the issue of Fernández-Taranco’s meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Biswal on Wednesday afternoon (US local time), another journalist asked whether this was about Bangladesh. “I think it’s not fair to assume anything. I’ll now see if I can actually get you some facts, as opposed to assumptions,” said the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson.
Incidents of arson and bomb attacks on vehicles have been reported every day since Jan 5, when the BNP-led alliance called for an indefinite transport blockade across Bangladesh. It has also called shutdowns in between to aggravate the situation.
At least 60 people have died and over a hundred injured in violent attacks since then. Several senior BNP leaders, including acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir are now in jail while the law enforcers are cracking down across the country to nab the troublemakers. In an interview with the Times of India on Tuesday, BNP Standing Committee member Abdul Moin Khan said that they would welcome any UN initiative to resolve the crisis.