The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has dismissed as baseless and fabricated, allegations of appointing lobbyists in the United States.
"After the United States imposed sanctions on an agency and its high-ranking officials and Bangladesh did not get an invitation to join US President Joe Biden's Democracy Summit, they (the government) came up with this baseless and fabricated allegations," said BNP Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.
He was speaking to journalists after paying homage to the party's founder Ziaur Rahman at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital on the occasion of his 86th birth anniversary.
Earlier on Tuesday, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shahriar Alam, said the BNP spent at least $3.75 million on lobbyists and shared relevant documents with the media which are also available in the public domain.
He also claimed the ruling Awami League government has never engaged any lobbyists in its last three tenures but did use a PR company purely on the media front in 2015 to help the world know Bangladesh based on facts and not propaganda against the country and its people.
On Wednesday, Khandaker Musharraf, made a counter allegation that the ruling party has been appointing foreign lobbyists for the past 14 years in order to cover up incidents of human rights violations, looting the wealth of people, and ruining the democratic system in the country.
He further claimed the government is up to spreading rumours against the BNP to confuse our countrymen.
Responding to a question from reporters, BNP Standing Committee member Mirza Abbas said, "We are not interested in the formation of an Election Commission, because BNP will not participate in any election without a neutral government in place. Not only that, if there is an election, we will resist it and not allow it to happen."
Khandaker Musharraf also called upon the people of the country to unite once again to create an environment in which democracy and former prime minister Khaleda Zia will be liberated.
Saying now there was Baksal in the country, he said Ziaur Rahman established a multi-party democracy after coming to power.
"He gave a 19-point programme to build a modern self-reliant Bangladesh. Ziaur Rahman set the three pillars on which today's economy stands," Dr Musharraf.
He said Ziaur Rahman also brought a revolution to the agriculture of this country by digging canals.
The BNP leader said, today Bangladesh is running on the foundation laid by Ziaur Rahman.
"But it is very unfortunate that those who are in power today have destroyed the electoral system, and the democracy Ziaur Rahman established," Dr Mosharraf said.
"Today there are no human rights in the country. This government has gained notoriety abroad for violating human rights and it is internationally recognised today that the country is under authoritarian rule," he added.