The recent moves by the caretaker government has left the country with a whiplash…or me atleast. From statements issued over the last week, it seemed that Sheikh Hasina is coming back, apparently to fight the murder case she has been named in, and Khaleda Zia was invited to “get out with your son or stay in jail”. Now I can’t really tell what is going on.
On one hand, the government has sent out a warning against Hasina’s return. Apparently she is guilty of issuing “inflammatory statements”. She was also responsible for the anarchic situation that eventually led to the state of emergency being declared. True, yet false. We cannot simply deny that BNP played their part of nepotism and corruption to a level never witnessed previously, which angered AL enough to take to the streets since then they would be unable to take their big bite of the little pie that is Bangladesh. Someone played a smart card here, telling the media that Hasina requested security from the government. The government took the chance to use this to shift some part of the reason on that, saying her life would be threatened.
Other side of the coin, we had reports circulating in the media that BNP head Khaleda Zia would not be charged with anything if she left the country, with her second son Coco. At about the same time, the government requested extra time to separate the judiciary from the executive, to which the HC spitted out a fiery “Why?” and then proceeded to halt, for six months, all cases proceeding against Tarique Zia. If you understood all of that, look confused.
Two government advisors, on the 17th, said they had no problems with the heads of either BNP or AL. They gave the impression that the two were free to do pretty much what they wanted, including exiting and entering the country. The government then vented some steam at the media, saying the media was misleading the people with baseless reports and that the government was still dedicated to press freedom.
So the government won’t send either of the two women out of the country, but they are willing to make sure those two stay out if they go out. The need of the moment for the government now is to cajole Khaleda Zia out, slap some cases against her and also make it seem like she will be danger should she try to come back. So there are no viable alternatives to vote for, who will the people vote for when the general elections come up next year? Not Jatiya Party, too fragmented and Ershad is buried under a landslide of legal paperwork, not Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), everyone is scared of the Jamaat-e-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) the terrorist outfit who were linked to JI. The fringe leftists and rightists don’t stand a chance, no one even knows their names. I do, however, seem to recall a certain Noble laureate who opened his party to contest the next elections and therein lies the final piece of the puzzle. The problem with this piece is that it is not yet clear how it fits into the puzzle. We don’t know what the puzzle is all about or what it looks like either, but current events seem to lend weight to the hypothesis that this caretaker government came to power to ensure that the final piece is the only solution to our puzzle.
The majority are of the view that we should wait and watch as the story develops and support whoever tries to make a difference in this country. But here’s an interesting picture painted by a friend way back in November, 2006. The rumours had just begun to circulate that we would have a new force in our political landscape and I was eagerly waiting for such a development. He said that AL will continue their agitation, that will lead to a state of emergency, either directly or indirectly under military rule and a new government will come out of the next elections, not headed by either of the current top two and we will see some major changes to the business landscape of the country.
Is it about the money after all?