US sanction on Rab officials will not affect next election: Quader

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Dhaka, Dec 13: Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said the recent US sanction on seven former and incumbent officers of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) will not put any impact on the next general election.

“The US sanction in the month of victory will encourage militancy but it will not affect the existing Bangladesh-US relations,” he told reporters after a meeting at the AL president’s political office in the city’s Dhanmondi area.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said there is no reason to get the next election impacted by the US sanction.

“We will hold out our elections. Do we hold the elections as per the advice of the United States?” he questioned.

Replying to a question over the US sanction, the AL general secretary said there would be an intrigue as the US statement issued the embargo in the month of victory encouraging militancy, its patrons, and terrorists in the country.

Asking a question to BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, he said: “I want to ask Mirza Fakhrul. He (Fakhrul) supported (BNP leader) Alal, who made a more indecent statement than Murad. This is the basic difference between them and the AL.”

“We have taken action against Murad immediately. But they (BNP) supported Alal morally instead of suspending him,” he added.

About the reception of senior AL leaders on the occasion of Mujib Year, Quader said the Mujib Year will continue till March next year and the reception programme will be arranged at a convenient time within the time frame.

Calling upon people from all strata to join the oath to be conducted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on December 16, he said: “We want to spread this spirit across the country, not only within Dhaka…I am urging the people from all walks of life, including pro-liberation and non-communal forces, to take part in the oath-taking ceremony.”

The AL joint general secretaries and organising secretaries will coordinate the oath-taking ceremony, he added.

The AL general secretary said a victory procession will be arranged on December 18, which will be held from Shikha Chironton to Bangabandhu Bhaban. “We discussed how the procession could be arranged in an organised and disciplined way,” he said.

Quader said discussions and cultural functions will be arranged at Tongipara on January 11 and 12, marking the Homecoming Day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

AL presidium members Lt. Col. (retd) Faruk Khan, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, its joint general secretaries Mahbubul Alam Hanif, Dr Hasan Mahmud and AFM Bahauddin Nasim, organising secretary BM Mozammel Haque, Abu Sayeed Al Mahmud Swapan, Mirza Azam, SM Kamal Hossain, and Afzal Hossain, relief and social welfare secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, agriculture and cooperatives affairs secretary Faridunnahar Laily, cultural affairs secretary Asim Kumar Ukil, office secretary Biplob Barua, forest and environment secretary Delwar Hossain, science and technology affairs secretary Abdus Sabur Aminul Islam and deputy office secretary Sayem Khan were, among others, present.