DHAKA, March 25, 2020 (BSS) – Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today expressed optimism that BNP would work together with Awami League and stand by people in combating deadly coronavirus epidemic showing respect to the prime minister’s generosity and kindness in releasing opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia.
Considering the release of BNP chairperson Begum Zia from jail following an executive order, the information minister said that BNP would shun negative and destructive politics and supplement the government’s efforts instead to contain the lethal virus.
Hasan, also ruling AL joint general secretary, made the comments while distributing masks and hand sanitizers among the secretariat-beat journalists at his office here.
As family members of Begum Khaleda Zia met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and made an appeal for her release, he said, the Prime Minister took steps to release Khaleda under the section 401 (1) of Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC), suspending her sentence for six months on humanitarian grounds.
Replying to a question on BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s statement that the country will be free from COVID-19 as Khaleda Zia has been released from jail, AL joint general secretary said, “I don’t know whether he made the statement. Actually, coronavirus is a global catastrophe; it has no relation with the release of Khaleda Zia”.
If Mirza Fakhrul made such remark, Hasan said, “I will hope that none will make such an irresponsible statement further”.
Replying to another question over whether BNP thanked the government over the release of Khaleda, the information minister said, “Though Mirza Fakhrul didn’t welcome the government’s decision immediately, but BNP later welcomed the decision and thanked the government.”
Khaleda’s lawyers and family members also thanked the government, he added.
Highlighting government’s different initiatives to contain the coronavirus, Hasan said the government declared general holidays, controlled the vehicular movements and stooped the plying of public transports.
If the movement of people is stopped due to the government’s initiatives, he said, “I hope, we could save our country and its people with our collective efforts”.
About journalists’ duty during the 10-day general holiday, the information minister said the newsmen will not require separate identity cards during the holidays excepting the existing ones.