BNP parliamentarian Md Harunur Rashid faced protests by ruling lawmakers at Jatiya Sangsad Saturday after supporting the Pakistani national cricket team's flag hoisting during a practice session for its ongoing Bangladesh tour.
"We should keep in mind that they [Pakistan national cricket team] are our guests. Our players also perform in other countries where they too hoist the national flag," said the BNP's member of parliament.
"But I recently saw an MP delivering hate speech centring the issue," said Harun, which promptly met with protests by the Awami League lawmakers.
"Why did you invite the team for the Dhaka tour in the first place," the BNP MP told them, adding, "It is not appropriate to be hostile towards a nation. This is not decent for us either."
Referring to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 1974-speech at the UN, Harun told the house that Bangabandhu then said Bangladesh, brushing aside the previous animosity, put efforts to re-establish bilateral relations with Pakistan.
"By pardoning 195 war criminals, we have written a new history of peace and cooperation in the subcontinent. We have shown our sincerity," Harun quoted from Bangabandhu's speech.
The BNP MP sought "protection" from the speaker as protests from the ruling MPs got louder following the remark.
"I had been talking about Bangabandhu's speech. If you interrupt here too, what else can I say honourable speaker? I did not say anything on my own, I just read out his speech," claimed Harun.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury responded to the BNP lawmaker by saying "Harun's support for Pakistan revealed his original political lineage".
"By speaking for the war criminals, he has proven again that BNP does not believe in the spirit of the liberation war," said the state minister.
He said, "BNP founder Ziaur Rahman not only pampered the Bangabandhu killers but also damaged the country's constitution to introduce Pakistani rules in Bangladesh. BNP is doing the same politics which the opposition parliamentarian has just revealed before the house."