EU Parliament again asks BNP to sever Jamaat links

The European Parliament has again insisted on the BNP cutting its ties with Jamaat-e-Islami.

Published : 10 Dec 2014, 01:37 PM
Updated : 10 Dec 2014, 06:40 PM

Jean Lambert, an MEP, said at a media call in Dhaka on Wednesday that she had discussed the issue with the BNP during her visit.

She came here on Saturday at the invitation of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers’ and Exporters’ Association (BGMEA) to attend an apparel industry meet. She leaves on Wednesday night.

Lambert is also the chair of the delegation for relations with South Asian countries.

During her “goodwill” visit, she said she had general-secretary-level meeting with two major parties – the ruling Awami League and the opposition BNP.

The EU had not sent observers to the Jan 5 general election, as it did not find it “transparent, inclusive and credible” with more than half the seats going uncontested.

Later, on Jan 16, the Europarl in a resolution urged the BNP to ‘unequivocally’ distance itself from the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam.

It also suggested that the government ban parties resorting to terrorists acts, without taking any name.

Replying to a question on whether they had changed their position, she said the resolution had not been altered, making it clear “that remains the position of the European parliament”.

Lambert said they were not calling for fresh elections but would encourage major parties to find a solution conducive for holding an election.

She mostly focused on the readymade clothing sector during the press briefing, as the EU was the largest market for this sector where it enjoyed duty-free market access.

The MP said during discussions with RMG sector stakeholders she heard them saying , “We should not judge the whole sector by the Rana Plaza incident,” she said.

“But Rana Plaza is a wake-up call,” she said, urging stakeholders to respond to the call positively and change “mindset”.

The EU head of delegation in Dhaka Pierre Mayaudon was present during the press briefing at his office.