Saturday, June 18, 2011

Khaleda's Signal Can Be Built Up On : Al Should Seize The Opportunity

For the first time since the ruling AL and the opposition BNP locked their horns on caretaker issue, we think, Begum Zia has indicated a willingness to have talks with the ruling party if the caretaker system were retained. Though the prime minister had initially ruled out the retention of CTG 'after the court verdict', lately she has been making repeated overtures to the opposition leader urging her to place her formula for CTG reform on the table. This, she felt, was necessitated by the SC verdict as well as the experience with the abuse of the system in 2007-08. However, following the opposition leader's positive signal to the PM's initiative for an engagement, some AL leaders have expressed views that did not resonate with the PM's latest stand. One part of the SC verdict allows for two-term use of the caretaker system on the basis of understanding between political parties. Moreover, in an ' observation' the SC added that if political parties agreed, higher judiciary can be delinked from caretaker system. So materially as well as interpretatively, there is no point hammering that there is no scope for continuing with the CTG after the court verdict. For, such a position does not only militate with SC verdict but also sounds discordant with the PM's own positive approach to engaging the opposition. Now that Begum Zia has shown signs of reciprocating the PM's gesture, and the BNP is speaking with one voice, the trend needs to be built up on and taken forward with sagacity. In this context, we expect all AL leaders to speak with one voice and fall in line with the PM. While we appreciate the opposition leader's positive response for dialogue, we urge her to join the parliament without any loss of time to put across her ideas of caretaker reform as the ruling party too engages the opposition over its points to arrive at a common ground. It is the House of the people through which an effective and conclusive outcome can be reached. They can make the fullest use of the parliamentary forum while an option for agitation remains, short of hartal, of course, which is detrimental to national interest.