BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Monday refused to comment on Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Shafiqur Rahman's leaked comments on the future of the 20-party alliance.

"I know what you (journalists) will say. I won't answer. So, there's no point in asking me anything about it (Jamaat)," said Mirza Fakhrul, pre-empting any line of inquiry on Jamaat by journalists, who tried to draw his attention to the issue during a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office.

When one of them compared Fakhrul's refusal to take the question with suppression of his (the reporter's) democratic rights, the BNP leader said, "I respect your democratic rights. But I also have the right to not answer that."

He also said journalists can write on the issue as they see fit, in exercise of their right.

At a recent virtual meeting of Jamaat leadership, its Ameer Shafiqur Rahman said the 20-party alliance is no longer effective, and perhaps more intriguingly, that BNP itself "does not want to keep this alliance active."

He went on to add: "Such a dysfunctional alliance cannot continue for years."

Shafiqur further informed his fellow Jamaat leaders: "We have had open discussions with them (BNP) and they agreed with this. They will not make any more alliances. We will now try our best from our own position."

A video clip of this meeting containing Shafiqur's remarks went viral on Sunday.

On January 6, 1999, still more than two years out from the next parliamentary election scheduled for 'not before the summer of 2001', the BNP formed its erstwhile 4-party alliance, bringing together on the same plaform, the Jamaat-e-Islami, Jatiya Party, the Islami Oikya Jote, and of course itself.

Although 4 parties were enough to rout the AL and all its well-meaning, good-speaking yet ultimately useless, lifeless, meaningless allies in the elections held in October 2001.

On April 18, 2012, the alliance turned into a platform of 18 parties, before eventually settling the matter out of court in 2021.

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