Hasina, Zia trade charges in parliament

April 8th, 2009 - 12:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, April 8 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused opposition leader Khaleda Zia of “fomenting trouble” that led to the border guards’ mutiny while Zia said Hasina should resign for failing to handle the rebellion.
Zia demanded that Hasina resign as the defence minister for her failure to anticipate and then handle the February mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) personnel that led to the killing of 80 people, including 55 Bangladesh Army officers.

“Dont force us to take tough decisions,” Zia said while appearing in parliament after a long hiatus.

If Hasina spoke for an hour, Zia took an hour and 40 minutes to reply to the many charges and level her own accusations. But they heard each other out without interrupting, media reports said Wednesday.

The prime minister asked where “she (Zia) went in a car with tinted windows shortly after the mutiny broke out at Pilkhana”.

Refuting Zia’s allegations with regard to the government’s handling of the BDR crisis, she said: “Perhaps, she (Zia) is unhappy that the situation did not lead to a civil war and overthrow of the grand alliance government.”

Hasina accused Zia and her Islamist allies of betraying “frustration” after their poll debacle last December wherein they could muster only 32 seats in a house of 300.

She urged the opposition to wait till the next election for people to decide who should be in power. “Please cooperate with us. Don’t do anything that might tarnish the country’s image.”

She also said she wants to patch things up with her arch rival and work together in the interests of democracy, The Daily Star said Wednesday.

Zia complained: “I don’t know how much longer we will be able to keep continuing our efforts, as the treasury bench lawmakers are hurling epithets in foul languages at the opposition lawmakers.”

“It’s not possible for any decent person to perform his or her duties, if the situation continues to remain the same,” Zia said, adding: “It seems they (treasury bench) want an opposition free house.”

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