Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday said the BNP has a lot to learn from the generosity shown by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia although Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda showed extremely inhumane attitudes towards the Awami League men.
He made the remark while speaking at a discussion at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.
Saarc Human Rights Foundation arranged the discussion marking the 73rd Human Rights Day.
Speaking as the chief guest, Hasan said when AL leader Sheikh Hasina returned home in 1981 and wanted to arrange a milad at their Dhanmondi-32 home, Ziaur Rahman did not allow her to enter the house.
“She had to sit on the street and hold the milad mahfil,” he added.
Hasan, also the AL joint general secretary, said after 24 people, including 22 AL leaders and workers, were killed in a grenade attack in 2004, Begum Zia even laughed when BNP leaders stated that Sheikh Hasina herself had taken the grenades, mocking the condolence motion brought in the House.
Changing her birthday, Khaleda Zia cut cake with smile on August 15, he said and questioned “Did they (BNP leaders) forget the issue of human rights that time?”
Recalling the rights of domestic workers, the information minister said if steps could be taken to ensure the rights of people n home to society as well, human rights will be protected in the country.
At the same time, human rights will be established in the world only when human rights are ensured in those countries where voices are raised for protection of human rights, otherwise human rights will remain just as a slogan, he said.
Chairman of Saarc Human Rights Foundation’s Advisory Council and chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury inaugurated the meeting.
Chaired by foundation chairman Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah, the meeting was addressed, among others, by Bhutanese Ambassador in Dhaka Rinchen Kuentsyl, former president of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Kazi Reazul Hoque and security analyst Major General (Retd) Abdur Rashid.