British Foreign Secretary David Miliband urged the government to lift the state of emergency and hold general elections as soon as possible to ensure a fully functioning democracy.
He also said Britain is impressed with the performance of the army-backed caretaker government during 'a difficult year'. Miliband, the highest profile British visitor since this government took charge in January last year and the first foreign minister of his country here since 2002, was talking to reporters after meeting Foreign Adviser Iftekhar A Chowdhury on the first day of his two-day visit to Bangladesh. "A fully functional democracy cannot operate under a state of emergency," said Miliband when asked about Bangladesh's return to democracy.
"We certainly look forward to the commitment of this government being fulfilled through free and fair elections at the latest by the end of this year," he added.