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POST TIME: 13 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Fakhrul to talk polls, political situation with UN chief
He leaves for New York
Staff Reporter

Fakhrul to talk polls, political situation with UN chief

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam  Alamgir yesterday went to New York at the invitation of United Nations (UN) secretary general António Guterres to talk to him about the forthcoming national elections and the prevailing political situation in the country, according to party sources.

The BNP leader, accompanied by party executive committee member Tabith Awal, left Dhaka at 2am yesterday by an Emirates Airlines flight.  Earlier, the UN secretary general had sent a formal invitation letter to the veteran BNP leader through its country resident representative in Bangladesh, said a reliable source.

Fakhrul will take part in a meeting organised by the UN at its headquarters and focus on the overall political situation in the country. He will place before the UN secretary general his party’s recommendation to hold the next national election under a neutral government. He will also hand over a pictorial report to António Guterres on ‘government repression’ to describe the violence during the last city polls. This report will also contain incidents of killing and enforced disappearance.

A written statement has been prepared on the overall situation in the country in consultation with the party’s standing committee members, said a senior leader.

Fakhrul will also focus on the release of the party chairperson Khaleda Zia. He will highlight the harassment of opposition leaders and activists by the government.

The BNP delegation is likely to hold meetings with high-level officials of the US department of state during their visit.

Earlier, the UN secretary general had expressed his willingness to hold a meeting with the BNP over the latest developments in the country ahead of the next general polls, which are likely to be held in December this year. He sent the invitation letter to Fakhrul last week, expressing his willingness to hold a meeting with the party, sources said.

However, a BNP standing committee member, Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, said he did not know the party secretary general’s programme details. “I only know that our party secretary general has gone to New York at the invitation of the UN secretary general. But I do not know about the details of his visit,” he added.