Military must not involve in Bangladesh politics : US envoy


Dhaka : The United States has said that it does not want to see any sort of military involvement in Bangladesh politics, as it thinks it will be a mistake.

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“We’ve been pretty straight forward saying that any military personnel can retire or resign from military and decide to take politics, that’s their business, but direct military role in politics will be a mistake,” the US ambassador in Dhaka Patricia A Butenis was quoted as saying by the private UNB news agency.

“I do not want to see anybody coerced or forced to join a new party, and certainly we do not want to see military involvement in politics. I have made this point before that military should not take any sort of political role,” said outgoing envoy Butenis, who leaves Dhaka shortly for her next assignment in Iraq.

The current army backed non-party government was installed to power on January 12, a day after President Iajuddin Ahmed proclaimed a state of emergency scrapping the general elections scheduled for January 22 this year amid heightened political tensions and protracted conflicts between major political parties.

But the country’s army chief earlier ruled out chances of military takeover saying they were not the “proper institution” to run the government while it had resisted “all temptations” because as military did not want to be involved in politics or run the government.

“We’re encouraged by the steps the government is taking to put reforms in place,” Butenis said but warned against any attempt or plan to “impose” changes on political parties. “It was going to have troubles,” she added.