Take vow to make developed Bangladesh: PM

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DHAKA : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged Awami League leaders and workers to take a fresh vow to build Bangladesh as a developed and peaceful country in South Asia.

“Bangabandhu dreamt of establishing Bangladesh as Switzerland of the East. We want to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu when the nation would celebrate the birth centenary of the great leader in 2020,” she said.

Calling upon all associate bodies of Awami League and party’s rank and file to take preparations for grand celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary and work together to make Bangladesh a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041 the Prime Minister said, “It should be our pledge on the birthday of Bangabandhu.”

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Bangladesh Awami League, was addressing a discussion organized by party’s central committee on the occasion of 98th birthday of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Hasina presided over the function held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) at Agargaon here while Awami League presidium member Deputy Leader of the Jatiya Sangsad Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, AL advisory council members Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofael Ahmed, advocate Yusuf Hossain Humayun, presidium member Syed Ashraful Islam, general secretary Obaidul Kader, senior party leaders Jahangir Kabir Nanak and noted Islamic cleric Moulana Golam Mowla Sugandhi took part in the discussion.

AL Organizing secretary Ahmed Hossain, office secretary of Awami League Abdus Sobhan Golap, president of Dhaka North unit AKM Rahmat Ullah, MP, central committee member Prof. Rafiqul Islam, general secretaries of Dhaka South and North units of Awami League Shahe Alam Murad and Sadek Khan also spoke on the occasion.

Publicity Secretary of the Party Dr Hasan Mahmud and Deputy Publicity Secretary Aminul Islam conducted the discussion, while Ahakamullah recited a poem on Bangabandhu.

Paying rich tributes to Bangabandhu, the Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had immense love for the people of Bangladesh. So he dreamt of changing their fate to ensure their access to prosperous life, she said adding “I think it’s our duty to materialize this dream to take forward our nation.”

The Prime Minister candidly said Bangladesh would never be a place for militants and terrorists. She called on all to be alert against the anti-social and anti-religious elements. She particularly urged the Awami League leaders and workers to remain careful about the existence of any militant in their respective areas.

“You have to collect information about existence of any militant or terrorist in your area so you can inform law enforcement agencies to hand them over to law,” she said.

Highlighting the country’s current development, the Prime Minister said the tremendous success could be possible because of the Awami League remaining at helm of affairs since 2009. If the Father of the Nation were alive for at least five more years, Bangladesh would have been a prosperous nation much ago, she said.

During the Bangabandhu era, she said, Bangladesh for first time achieved 7 percent economic growth which never exceeded six percent during long the span of time after Bangabandhu’s killing. Now, the country again is on trajectory of 7 percent economic growth as Awami League government remains in power, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said BNP, Jamaat and Ershad never wanted to make the country reliant in food production as they wanted to keep the people under poverty line showcasing them before the foreign donors to get aid. Only Awami League can do anything better for the people of Bangladesh than anybody else, she said.

Criticizing the BNP chairperson for her apolitical activities in the name of movement against the government, the Prime Minister said the BNP had left no stone unturned to dislodge the Awami League government in 2015.

During their five-year rule from 2001 to 2006, BNP carried out endless torture on people killing thousands of Awami League leaders and workers. Again from 2013 to 2015 the party showed their mayhem in the name of movement to oust the Awami League government and boycotting the election.

But they could not succeed due to lack of public support, the Prime Minister said adding that Bangladesh would not have seen the current pace of development if Awami League failed to retain power in 2015.

Sheikh Hasina said country’s development is now visible and people are getting its benefit. People have regained confidence in their ability to do something for their own development, which Khaleda Zia did not like. So she pursued the path of destruction to take revenge on Awami League government.

Pointing out the allegation of corruption in Padma Bridge project, the Prime Minister said conspiracy against us is unbounded. But finally the allegation proved false in the Canadian court, she said adding she is not afraid of any false allegation as she is ready to make any sacrifice for the nation.

Sheikh Hasina said honesty is the best strength of a politician, which she learned from Bangabandhu. But, Khaleda Zia and her son are afraid of appearing in the court as she lost her strength of honesty through plundering the orphans’ fund and being convicted on charge of money laundering.

The Prime Minister said her government is making constant efforts to strengthen the defense forces befitting an independent country. In this regard, she said, the defense policy framed by Bangabandhu is a guideline for us.

Sheikh Hasina blasted BNP for doing politics with India on various bilateral issues saying BNP talks well with India when it remains in power and pretends to be opposing when out of power.

BNP could not resolve a single bilateral issue with India, but speaks a lot when Awami League comes to solution over an outstanding issue, the Prime Minister said.

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