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No desire to become president, says Bangla army chief
October 17, 2007 13:23 IST
Bangladesh Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed has dismissed speculations that he is set to take over as president, saying he has no such intentions as an interim government installed nine months ago with crucial military support now runs the country.
"Many questions are lurking in many people's minds, but time will give answers to all those questions. I have no desire to become president," he said in London [Images] on Tuesday.
Ahmed said there was no scope for considering the military as a separate entity. "The army is part of the government and like general people, the army also wants clean democracy in Bangladesh".
The army chief said the country was heading for a civil war in the wake of violent political activities, absence of law and order and distrust about voters' lists, a scenario that necessitated the January 11 declaration of a state of emergency and installation of the current caretaker government.
Priority of the incumbent government, he said, was to restore democracy through free and fair elections and transfer of power. Law and order was under the control of the caretaker government, which also enjoyed full public support, he said.
Last month, the army chief had said that his troops were working to help the interim government in emergency-ruled Bangladesh and they would go back to barracks the moment the government asked them to do so.
"We've been assigned some specific duties -- we'll go back the moment the government asks," said Ahmed.
Fakhruddin Ahmed, chief adviser of the interim government, had said last month that Bangladesh has managed to set an example of "civil-military relations" in crisis management.
"Bangladesh represents an effective model of civil-military cooperation in crisis prevention. Our experience in crisis management could be relevant for many crisis-torn nascent democracies," he told the 62nd UN General Assembly session in New York last month.