America made new visa policy for democratic elections in Bangladesh, shock to Sheikh Hasina!

America made new visa policy for democratic elections in Bangladesh, shock to Sheikh Hasina!

Dhaka: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced a new visa policy for Bangladesh that will deny travel to those suspected of disrupting the South Asian country’s elections in January 2024. Blinken announced the new policy on Wednesday under the Immigration and Nationality Act to support the goal of holding free, fair and peaceful national elections in Bangladesh.

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Blinken said, “Under this policy, the US can ban the grant of visas to any Bangladeshi national, whom it believes can hinder the conduct of democratic elections in Bangladesh.” Blinken said current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, members of law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and security services could come under the purview of the new policy.

According to a statement issued by the US State Department, the US had conveyed this decision to the Bangladeshi government on May 3. Blinken said it is the responsibility of voters, political parties, government, security forces, civil society and the media to conduct free and fair elections. “I am announcing this policy to extend my support to all those striving to advance democracy in Bangladesh,” he said.

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. A. Of. Abdul Momen told the media in Dhaka on Thursday that the US warning of visa restrictions against those trying to disrupt free and fair elections in the country is helpful for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government’s commitment. “The new US policy has strengthened our (government’s) position to hold free and fair elections,” Momen said. He said that ‘the policy is good, there is nothing to worry about it’.

He said that this has not put any additional pressure on the Bangladesh government. Meanwhile Bangladesh’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is running a campaign aimed at restoring a non-party caretaker government for the elections. The BNP alleges that no election can be free under the rule of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The BNP has also vowed not to participate in any election under the present Awami League-led government.

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