DHAKA, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina slammed a recent U.S. visa restriction for Bangladeshi individuals for "undermining the democratic election process."
"We will not be dependent on others. There is no point in fretting over who will not give us visas or who will impose sanctions," said Hasina on Saturday, as quoted by United News of Bangladesh.
The wide range of people under the purview of the new policy includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services, as per an official U.S. release.
The policy was made to support free, fair, and peaceful national elections in Bangladesh, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on May 24.
Hasina has recently made it clear that the next general election in Bangladesh will be held under her Awami League government, which now eyes the fourth consecutive victory in the election slated for early 2024.
The current government faces challenges from ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party, as Hasina did not heed their demand for a non-party caretaker government to hold the polls.