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'Emergency should go to expedite polls process' PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Staff Correspondent

The newly appointed special assistants to the chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, have stressed the need for lifting of the state of emergency to facilitate political activities ahead of general elections.

The special assistants, who assumed charges on Sunday, said the prime responsibility of the government was to hold the polls and pledged to extend all cooperation to this effect.

'The government should withdraw the state of emergency allowing political activities if the elections are to be conducted,' special assistant to posts and telecommunications ministry MA Malek told reporters at his secretariat office.

He said the emergency should be lifted within a reasonable time so that the political parties could start preparations for the polls.

'The country should be run by the politicians', the retired army official said when asked for comments on the present situation.

The special assistant in charge of telecommunications ministry said immediate steps would be taken to simplify the billing system of BTTB phones to rid the consumers of hassles.

Debashis Roy, who is in charge of the Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs, said the main task for the government was to hold the general elections besides carrying out routine activities of different ministries.

'The state of emergency should go as soon as possible,' said the ethnic minority leader while talking to reporters at his office in the secretariat.

He said the chief adviser had told him that all important activities of the CHT affairs ministry would go under his responsibility while things having political implications should be consulted with the chief adviser.

Asked about the demands of ethnic minorities for removing Bangali settlers from the hill tracts, Chakma Raja Debashis said the issue should be addressed from humanitarian point of view.

'I think everyone's right should be protected…How long they have been living there should not be a matter in the case of right protection…. We should look at the issue from human rights perspective.'

M Tamim, who is in charge of the energy and mineral resources division, said the government's main task was to conduct the polls and they [special assistants] would assist the administration in activities so that the elections could be held in time.

Earlier, the special assistants visited the national martyrs' memorial at Savar in the morning to pay homage to the martyrs of the liberation war.

The newly inducted primary and mass education adviser, Rasheda K Chowdhury, said that the state of emergency must be lifted. 'If the parties appeal to the government for lifting the emergency before initiating dialogue with them, the authorities will obviously consider it,' she said responding to reporters' queries.

The date and agenda for the proposed political dialogue would be set in the council of advisers' meeting, she mentioned.

The chief adviser on Thursday appointed the three special assistants with the rank of state minister under a new arrangement to ease the workload on the 11-member interim cabinet.

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