Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- The ruling Awami League has urged the opposition to withdraw its 60-hour total strike, generally known as hartal  from Sunday morning.

On behalf of the party, Awami League presidium member and former Home Minister Mohammad Nasim made the call to the opposition from an impromptu press conference convened at the political office of party President Sheikh Hasina at Dhanmondi in the capital on Friday.

The press conference was convened mainly to give reply to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia’s remarks made at a public rally today at the city’s Suhrawardy Udyan.

“I urge Begum Khaleda Zia to withdraw the hartal and choose the path of the constitution and election discarding the ways of violence. Don’t cause further sufferings to the people by enforcing hartal anymore. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been telling for talks but you are opting for violence,” Nasim said pointing at the opposition leader.

Terming her speech ‘illogical, meaningless and offensive, Nasim urged Khaleda Zia to come to the path of polls leaving that of confrontation and there is no alternative to it. “If you (Khaleda) have confidence in people, we’ll have to come to the path of election.”

About the 60-hour hartal from Sunday as announced by Khaleda Zia at the 18-party alliance rally, the AL leader said, “Shun the politics of hartal. Participate in the election in line with the Constitution calling off the hartal. Don’t cause sufferings to people anymore.”  

Ruling AL joint general secretaries Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif and Dipu Moni, among others, were present at the press conference.  

Earlier, BNP chairperson and opposition leader Khaleda Zia at a rally at historic Suhrawardy Udyan called a 60-hour countrywide non-stop strike from 27th October 6am to 29th October 6pm unless the AL-led government initiates a dialogue for the formation of a non-party election-time cabinet by the time. 

BBN/SSR/AD-25Oct13-10:53 pm (BST)