BNP against allowing casinos for foreigners

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Dhaka, September 25: BNP senior leader Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan on Wednesday strongly opposed the government’s reported plan to allow casinos for foreigners in exclusive tourism zones, saying it is an “immoral move”.“I’ve seen in the newspapers that the government has a plan to allow casinos for foreigners. How did the government reveal this plan amid the huge uproar over casinos in the country? How can the government take such an immoral step,” he said.

The BNP leader came up with the remarks while speaking at a human-chain programme in front of the Jatiya Press club arranged by Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal, demanding the release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Earlier at a press conference on Tuesday, Civil Aviation and Tourism Secretary Md Mohibul Haque said, “There’ll be exclusive tourist zones in Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira and Cox’s Bazar.  We’ve a plan so that foreigners can go to casinos at the exclusive tourist zones with their passports like other countries,” the secretary said.

He, however, supported the ongoing drive against illegal casinos in Dhaka.

Moyeen said setting up of casinos for foreigners cannot be a justified decision as it will have bad impacts on the character of the people of Bangladesh.

“What is a sin for Bangladeshis can’t be good for foreigners. Won’t it be a sin if foreigners indulge in misdeeds in Bangladesh? Who can guarantee that it won’t spread among the people of Bangladesh if casinos are introduced for foreigners?” the BNP leader questioned.

He said the ruling party leaders are indulging in casino business and various misdeeds as the government has no accountability.

The BNP leader said the government cannot hide the wrongdoers and corrupt elements without accountability and democracy. “As a little politician, I can say, the Frankenstein you (govt) have created will not only harm BNP, but also Awami League.”

He said people want to know how the government developed the country when crores of taka and huge gold ornaments are being recovered from the houses of ruling party leaders.

Another BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan said the allegations of corruption are being surfaced against ruling party leaders while some of them are being arrested with crores of ‘ill-gotten’ money. “They made the illegal money with the help of the government.”

He criticised Prime Minister’s Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam for his remarks that those arrested on charge of casino business are infiltrators, and questioned why the government allowed them making money and doing business illegally and gave them big posts of Awami League and its associate bodies.

“From when have you (HT Imam) started doing Awami League as you conducted the swearing-in ceremony of Khandaker Mushtaque Ahmed? You’ve now become a bigger Awami Leaguer when those who hold the posts of Awami League, Jubo League and Chhatra league have turned infiltrators. Don’t make illogical comments to avoid your responsibility,” the BNP leader said pointing at the PM’s adviser.

He also came down hard on Information Minister Hasan Mahmud for his comment that a detained ruling party leader used to send Tk crore per month to BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, saying the minister is trying to mislead people with such unguarded remarks.

Nazrul urged the government to arrest all of them who are involved in casino business and corruption, and put them on trial for the sake of country’s betterment. “But we know you can’t do it.”

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