Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that she is willing to take “all possible steps” to protect democracy if a consensus can be reached with the BNP-led opposition alliance.

But Ms. Hasina, whose new cabinet was sworn-in on Sunday , insisted the opposition “will have to behave and stop violence and disruption”. She also reiterated that the BNP has to sever its ties with Jamaat-e-Islami, the anti-Bangladesh party, before holding any talks with the government. A confident Ms. Hasina remarked that the BNP chief Khaleda Zia is now realising her ‘mistake’ by not taking part in the election. “I do not know who advises them.”

“The obstacle they had created in people’s lives and livelihoods, have to stop. Only then come the issue of consensus,” she told journalists. When asked if she is facing pressures from home and abroad, the three-time Prime Minister said she would not bow down to any national or international pressure, “be it national or international.”

The ruling Awami League’s general secretary and a new minister, also remarked : “It’s pointless to intimidate us ….those days are gone.”

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