Action to be taken against Al Jazeera if HC directs govt: Dr Hasan

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CHATTOGRAM, Feb 12, 2021 (BSS) – Information Minister and Awami
League (AL) Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud said that the
government will take action against Al Jazeera if the High Court
directs the government to this end.

Terming the present government as media-friendly one for its firm
belief in freedom of the press, he said that if the High Court gives
any directions to the government in this regard, then the government
has to obey the order.

The minister stated these while responding to the queries of
journalists during the briefing on current affairs at his residence in
the city this evening.

“We could have shut down Al Jazeera in our country if we wanted it.
Even in India it was closed for a while. The telecast of Al Jazeera is
still closed in six to seven countries in the world. But the
government, led by Sheikh Hasina, did not take such initiatives as it
believes in the freedom of press,” he added.

Dr Hasan said that independence is needed for any organization, but
it also needs such responsibility. “Freedom does not mean to air the
wrong, false, biased and motivated news items which deprive the
freedom of others, “he added.

Terming the report published by Al Jazeera out of personal
resentment, Dr Hasan said that Al Jazeera’s report is a fabricated one
as it was produced with some cut and paste news items.

Criticizing the BNP leaders for spreading propaganda against the
Corona vaccine, the information minister said now they are also taking
the vaccine.

“Earlier, BNP leaders were spreading propaganda about the Corona
vaccine. They first said that the government cannot bring the vaccine
on time and it will not work. They also said that the government wants
to kill the BNP leaders with this vaccine etc.,” Dr Hasan said.

Many BNP leaders, he said, have taken the Corona vaccine at the end
by saying various irresponsible questions.

“We want to see them healthy and stronger with the vaccine. They
are the opposition party and they will play the role of opposition.
Let them oppose us always.” Dr Hasan said.

Replying to questions about withdrawal of Bir Uttom title of Ziaur
Rahman, Dr Hasan Mahmud said that there had been many questions about
the role of Ziaur Rahman during the liberation war.

“In the guise of a freedom fighter, he in true sense acted as an
ally of Pakistan. The final decision to cancel his title has not been
made yet. It has only been discussed in Jamuka,” he added.

Replying to another question about the BNP’s protest rally, the
information minister said that BNP is an opposition party and they can
protest, but it is ridiculous as they have called for protest on all
issues, including the Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) elections.

He said that CCC election was a good one in terms of the type of
local government elections held in Bangladesh or neighboring
countries. “It was very sad that BNP participated in the election, but
was not present in the election field. None of them were seen on
polling day,” he added.

“Did the BNP secretary general visit Chattogram in such an
important election like CCC polls?” “Did he take part in the campaign?
Did he have a meeting? he posed questions.

“Whereas they had no problem in campaign,” he added.

Dr. Hasan Mahmud said, “Our party MPs and ministers could not
participate in the election campaign due to various obligations of the
Election Commission.”

“But there had no problem for BNP leaders including Mirza Fakhrul
to carry out campaign in last CCC election, who spoke in their Naya
Paltan office every day. They participated in the election, but were
not in the field. It was their failure and party weakness. Resulting,
they lost the election in this city,” he added.

The information minister said that late AL leader ABM Mohiuddin
Chowdhury was elected Mayor of CCC in 1994.

“Since then the defeat of BNP was started. Once in the middle, they
won by hiring Manjurul Alam Manju from AL. They have never won in this
city, the AL has always won. Because it is the base of AL, so there is
no point to earn profit by the protest,” he added.