Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said it is now a question that whether BNP wants to bring back Ziaur Rahman's martial democracy era to the country in the name of reforming the state.
"When BNP talks about reforming the state, the countrymen, in fact, get confused thinking that whether BNP wants to bring back martial democracy to the country as the party was born undemocratically," he said.
"Bangladesh is marching across progress indomitably and it is praised by all world leaders, including, the secretary general of the United Nations, the US president and the president of the World Bank. Even, some days ago, the vice president of this region of the World Bank has said that the progress of the country amid global crisis and COVID-19 pandemic is an example to other countries."
Hasan told reporters replying to a query after a view-exchange meeting with the newly-elected committee members of Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) at the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat here.
DRU president Mursalin Nomani and general secretary Mainul Hasan Sohel, among others, spoke at the meeting.
Replying to another query over the recent incident with the US ambassador to Dhaka, the minister said, "Our relation with the United States is very incredible and they are our significant development partner. They have played a pivotal role in our progress in the last 50 years. The incident would not have happened if the US ambassador received their memorandum and listened to the relatives of the victims, who were killed without any trial by Ziaur Rahman in 1977."
But, the US envoy's security personnel didn't allow them to hand over the memorandum, said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said the home minister has explained it elaborately and there was no incident of breaching of security. Some people stood there and tried to draw attention to the US envoy, he added.
Replying to another query over a comment of BNP leader Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, the minister said if he thinks that the countrymen don't want this government then BNP should take part in the election. The countrymen didn't respond to their call, he added.
Hasan said BNP has said that they will topple the government after December 10. But now, the party itself has been knocked down instead of unseating the government, said Hasan.
Replying to another query over the raid at BNP's Naya Paltan office, he said the party (BNP) is making exaggerated statements about the police search in their office from the very beginning.
"But, it is normal to carry out search operations where live bombs and county-made weapons are found", he added.
Besides, 160 bags of rice, 2.50 lakh bottles of water and a huge amount of items have been found at the BNP office, which is not normal, he said.
The minister said police had carried out search operations several times at Awami League's party office located in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue when BNP was in power.
"Then, the law enforces had also arrested many AL leaders from the office", he added.
Earlier in the meeting, Hasan extended congratulations to the newly-elected DRU executive committee members.
He said, "I was with the mass media and will be with the media. There is no political schism in the DRU during its 27-year journey. And I hope that there will be no political division in the future too."
Hasan praised the role of DRU during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Digital Security Act, the minister said the act is meant for ensuring digital security for all people of the country and almost all countries across the globe have the law.
DRU vice-president Dipu Sarwar, joint general secretary Moinul Ahsan, treasurer Shakhwat Hossain Suman, organising secretary Saiful Islam, office secretary Kawsar Azam, women affairs secretary Mariam Moni Sejuti, publicity secretary Kamal Uddin Suman, information technology secretary Tofazzal Hossain Rubel, sports secretary Md Mahbubur Rahman, entertainment secretary Mohammad Naymuddin, welfare secretary Md Tanvir Ahmed, members - Manirul Islam Millat, Ismail Hossain Rassel, Mahasin Bepary, Mozammel Haque Tuhin, Kiran Sheikh, SM Mostafizur Rahman Suman and Md Ibrahim Ali, among others, were present in the meeting.
Later, Hasan exchanged views with 13 foreign journalists at his office.
Additional secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry Md Faruque Ahmed and Foreign Ministry's Public Diplomacy Wing director general Twfiq Hasan, among others, were present at the meeting.
Hasan, in his speech, apprised foreign journalists of the overall development of the country.
The journalists are from Algeria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Vietnam.