Welcoming the US's new visa policy targeting the next national election in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Thursday hoped that it would play a supporting role in ensuring fair election.
Talking to reporters in front of the party chairperson's Gulshan office, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury also said there is no reason for their party to be worried about the US move since it is involved in vote rigging.
"We welcome this decision of the US as it was made considering the concern of the people of Bangladesh over the (next general) election. I think this step will at least play a supporting role in holding the next polls in a fair and credible manner," he said.
Khasru, also the chairman of BNP's foreign affairs committee, stated that the US move has sent out a message that the people of Bangladesh can't exercise their right to franchise, and their constitutional rights have been taken away while their lives are at risk.
Saying that vote rigging is going on continuously in Bangladesh, Amir Khasru also said the US new visa policy is a big message to stop election manipulation in the days to come.Khasru said the ruling party should be worried about their future if they again indulge in vote rigging instead of restoring people's voting and democratic rights.
He also said the US has taken the move as a reflection of the people of Bangladesh's worries over the upcoming national election. "There's no discussion about the election of other countries, including our neighbouring ones. The US visa policy was announced exclusively for Bangladesh and its specific organizations and individuals."
The United States on Wednesday announced a new visa policy specific to Bangladesh, with a view to promoting free and fair elections.
"Under this policy, we can impose visa restrictions on individuals and their immediate family members if they are responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday.