The ruling 14-party alliance, led by Awami League, will form a human chain in the city on February 15 as part of a campaign against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for her controversial remarks about the number of 1971 Liberation War martyrs.The human chain protest is also meant to protest against Pakistan’s interference in Bangladesh’s internal politics amid growing discontent between the two countries.
Awami League presidium member and 14-party spokesman Mohammad Nasim announced the programme in a press briefing after a meeting of the alliance on Sunday.
In reference to the recent diplomatic spat between Bangladesh and Pakistan, Nasim, also the health and family planning minister, said he hoped Pakistan “would come to its senses”.
‘We hope that Pakistan will try to keep (good) relations with us. Otherwise, we have to think whether we will maintain diplomatic ties with Pakistan,” he said.
Nasim, a member of Parliament from Sirajganj, also said that the alliance would request foreign ministry to raise the issue in SAARC forum.
Pakistan last year officially questioned the ongoing war crimes trial, especially the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury in November.
Bangladesh strongly protested the move and warned Pakistan not to attempt to interfere in domestic issues.
On remarks about the number of martyrs, Nasim, also the health and family planning minister, said: “We are surprised that while many political parties are protesting against the activities of Pakistan Khaleda Zia is talking about the number of martyrs.”
“Why all on a sudden and after long time she is raising questions about the number of martyrs despite being a wife of a freedom fighter? Through the comment she is supporting Pakistan’s stand against Bangladesh in 1971,” Nasim said.
The influential ruling party leader said Khaleda Zia should seek apology for the comment.
“Are Khaleda Zia and her colleagues citizens of Bangladesh,” he asked.
On December 21, Khaleda at a discussion in Dhaka raised questions about the official figure of 3 million martyrs, triggering an uproar in the country.
Her remarks also prompted Supreme Court lawyer Momtaz Uddin Ahmed Mehedi to file a sedition case against her.