He made the remark while addressing a views-exchange meeting at a hotel in Chittagong city on Saturday, with city unit BNP president Dr Shahadat Hossain in the chair.
Mentioning that the government was adopting the law with ill motive, Khasru said the proposed law, if enacted, would disqualify minority community people from citizenship.
The former commerce minister also alleged: “With this act, the ruling Awami League is attempting to establish a one-party rule where there will be no opposition party. So we should resist it at any cost.”
BNP Vice President Mir Md Nasir Uddin said: “The ruling party has no authority to enact such a law as it does not have any popular mandate.”
The government is hatching a conspiracy against BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, who has been staying in London since 2008, Nasir alleged.
Terming the draft law discriminatory, Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, an adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, said this was based on authoritarian thoughts and outdated ideas.
“The government has destroyed different institutions through formulating different acts. And now it is trying to curtail the people’s rights,” Mahbub alleged.
National Press Club former president Showkat Mahmud, Prof Al Mozaddedi of Dhaka University and Prof Dr Sabbir Mostafa Khan of Bangladesh University of Engineering Technology were also present in the programme.
Draft Citizenship Law-2016
On February 1, the cabinet approved the draft citizenship law that contains a number of controversial provisions.
One of the provision states that if one’s father or mother “denies the existence of Bangladesh” or is “engaged in any activity against Bangladesh,” then he or she will not be qualified to be a Bangladeshi citizen.
The act also imposes restrictions on citizens born abroad and dual citizens, including deeming them ineligible to contest in a parliamentary election, hold the post of President or any local government position, or be appointed to any service, including becoming a justice of the Supreme Court. It also impedes them from being involved with any political party.
Rights organisations have long been demanding the draft’s revision, reasoning that it lacks proper specifications of language and phrases that might pave the way for manipulation by any government.