Dhaka: Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina has asked her archrival and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia not to push the country into chaos by continuing to speak against the war crimes trial.
"I urge the opposition leader not to throw the country into chaos by opposing the trials of war criminals. The entire nation wants the trials, and the international community is also extending support for the trials," Hasina told Parliament late last night.
She asked Zia of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to abandon her efforts to save the "war criminals", saying only 12 percent of the people were opposed to the initiatives of her Awami League-led government which has promised to conduct the trial.
Hasina`s comments came a day after Zia alleged that the government`s initiative "in the name of war crimes trial four decades after independence" had pushed the nation towards a confrontation afresh while "the real war criminals were released after the Liberation War".
A crucial ally of the main opposition in the past BNP-led government, fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) yesterday issued a statement saying since coming to power nearly two years ago, the incumbent government was creating "unnecessary debates" to drag the nation backward.
The government in March this year constituted a three-member special court alongside a special investigation agency and prosecution panel to expose the suspected war criminals to justice 39 years after the independence in line with ruling Awami League`s electoral pledges.
Officially no list of suspects is yet to be released with officials saying the investigating agency would finalise the list after a thorough enquiry despite a government instruction asking immigration authorities not allow the high-profile "know war criminals" leave the country.