Putting off local polls is unwise: adviser
Monday, 23 June 2008

Adviser Ghulam QuaderIt would be unwise for political parties to resist the local government elections, said communications adviser Ghulam Quader Sunday, reports bdnews24.com.

"I don't think the political parties should be bent on obstructing the local government elections. Maybe we've not been able to communicate with them effectively," the communications adviser told reporters outside the communications ministry.

"What we have announced is not a political election, it's simply the essential local government polls. The present government will not participate in the polls, as it has not been formed by any political party."

Quader said the government would like to see a process of decentralisation of power taking place in the country.

The local level administrative responsibilities the government bore so long will now be discharged by the elected local bodies, he said.

"This is nothing new. This was included in the election roadmap and it should be held as per schedule," said Quader.

"The High Court has laid down strong and clear instructions in this regard and we're just following those."

Asked if the delay in releasing detained prime minister Khaleda Zia from jail might be termed as 'doing her injustice', the adviser said: "None should consider it so."

"She has been offered all facilities with regard to her release. Her case is being treated as a special case and the process has been initiated so as to circumvent some legal impediments."

He said Khaleda Zia has been offered the choice of receiving medical treatment at home or abroad.

"There is no doubt that the government will do whatever it can to treat her medical complaints," the adviser said.

On the matter of releasing Khaleda's two sons, Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Coco, he said: "As the two brothers hardly match their mother's political standing, the government is mulling other means such as the humanitarian angle in handling their release and appropriate treatment."

On reports that Tarique has sustained spinal injuries, the adviser said: "I'm still in the dark about the matter, as I haven't read the concerned medical board's report."

"I don't know how he had been faring prior to his arrest or his present health condition, which bars me from commenting about the matter."

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