Dhaka to send special envoy to US to explain situation

By IANS, Dhaka: Bangladesh’s caretaker government is dispatching a special envoy to the US to explain the political situation in the country.

Former foreign secretary Farooq Sobhan leaves for Washington Thursday and will meet US Congressmen, National Security Council members and other officials during his weeklong visit, the Daily Star reported.

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He will explain various reform measures undertaken by Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed’s government to combat corruption and create a level-playing field for holding free, fair and credible elections in Bangladesh.

The US State Department has expressed its dismay at Dhaka’s recent efforts to exile former prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia. A spokesperson had said the Ahmed regime had got involved in actions that were “unacceptable”.

The US, Britain, Japan and Germany, among donor nations, have been closely monitoring developments in Bangladesh for the last many months – including the volatile run up to the election that was called off and the national emergency imposed in January.

These nations have been urging the Ahmed regime to fix a time frame within which the country should hold free and fair elections. The government has embarked on a set of electoral reforms and has said elections are not possible before end-2008.