National unity on economic issues stressed
Amid the global economic turmoil, a national unity among all political parties needs to be established on economic issues in the national interest, discussants of a round table said on Saturday.
Economists, international relations experts, security analysts, former ambassadors and editors of various newspapers participated in the discussion moderated by Mozammel Babu, president of Editors Guild, which promotes responsible journalism.
"We do not have a national consensus on any economic issue. We are yet to hold a dialogue to bring everyone, including the Awami League, BNP, Jamaat and others, on the same page on matters related to the economy and national interests," said Ahsan H Mansoor, economist and executive director of the Policy Research Institute.
"The size of our economy is increasing. When it comes to big projects, we need to decide whether to tag with India, USA or China. Now, each development partner country is being handed projects to keep them happy. But, there should be a common principle for all to follow and we do not have that," he added.
Former ambassador Waliur Rahman said, "We have to prepare in advance for various political issues, including the hill tract matters. If one party is pro-India and another is anti-India, there will be problems. Political stability will not be there."
International relations and security analyst, Air Commodore (Retd.) Ishfaq Elahi Chowdhury said, there is no consensus on political and social issues.
Dhaka University Professor and international relations expert Imtiaz Ahmed, said, "We never had political stability, what happened is regime stability. Political stability is not supposed to happen so suddenly."
He also added that if the regime stability is maintained, there is a possibility in the development momentum Bangladesh has entered.
Mozammel Babu, President of Editors Guild, said, "We have been able to settle some debates such as non-communalism, the spirit of liberation war, militancy and free market. But political stability will take time."
Dhaka University professor and economist MM Akash said, "Foreigners want democracy, they want an election, America also wants it. Again foreigners want it so that the power remains within the Awami League and the BNP. Because they can deal with them. Both parties are trying to mediate through foreign countries."
MM Akash also said, "People do not like misgovernance – corruption in particular. People have genuine displeasure about corruption and that is also why they are upset with political parties."