Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the current pace of progress set the country’s track towards earning the status of a middle income nation by 2021 and developed one by 2041 despite an orchestrated campaign to keep it on the backtrack by the anti-liberation elements, agencies report. .
“Bangladesh is a victorious nation. None can frustrate it and detract the country from its cherished goal of prosperity,” she said in an address to nation marking completion of two years of her government’s current term, highlighting its successes in areas of economy, polity and social sectors.
The Prime Minister, however, urged everybody to shun partisan divide and controversy on development issues as “Bangladesh now stands on a historic juncture of development”.
“Let us work together to turn Bangladesh into a prosperous country,” she said.
In her 30-minute speech Sheikh Hasina underlined the success of her government in different sectors over the past several years, country’s present optimistic economic condition, government’s future development plans, 1971 war criminals trial and the destructive politics of BNP and its cohorts.
But she said her government took a firm policy to fight back terrorism as well as the politics of destruction, pointing out that stern actions were already taken against perpetrators of such activities and if needed it would take a tougher stance. “People of Bangladesh are peace loving. They don’t believe in terrorism and destructive activities,” she said recalling the countrywide violent movement spearheaded by BNP before the 2014 elections.
The prime minister said people would never forget their acts of barbarism and added that the atrocities they committed could only be compared with the “cruelty of the Pakistani hyenas and their collaborators” in 1971.
“In fact BNP in an effort dislodge our government enforced 92-days mayhem under the cover of hartal and blockade programme in 2015 with an aim to protecting the war criminals and dodge Khaleda Zia’s presence in the court where she is being tried in two corruption cases,” Sheih Hasina said. But, she said, the lack of peoples support to her politics forced Begum Zia to back off and prefer a self-confinement in her party office and appear in the court to face the trials.
“The arsonists were exposed to justice and all criminals involved in the 2015 violence will be punished in due course,” she said. The prime minister, however, said Bangladesh’s fast progress towards the peak of prosperity with the united efforts of all prompted the cohorts of the anti-liberation forces to put in their efforts again to create instability and anarchy.
She said urging people to remain alert against the conspiracy. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony where people of every religion are living in peace for thousands of years while everybody is performing his or her religion freely. “None will be allowed to destroy the communal accord,” she asserted.
The prime minister expressed her firm resolve to complete the war crimes trial as “it was our party’s commitment to the nation”. “None will be able to obstruct the trial process and people would always reject those who don’t want the trail of the war criminals, she said.
The Prime Minister said her Awami League constituted the government on January 12, 2014 for the second consecutive term with the support of the countrymen. The government is making its continued efforts to fulfill the pledges made before the people, she said. Sheikh Hasina congratulated the countrymen on the second anniversary of her government saying it was the people who made the democracy victorious defying the terrorism and petrol bomb and arson attacks of BNP.
But BNP-Jamaat could not sustain with democracy and development as “they cannot accept the smiley faces of the people or their peace”. Sheikh Hasina said BNP and Jamaat resorted to terrorism at a time when the whole world was appreciating the success of Bangladesh which was earning recognition as a role model of development.
A total of 231 innocent people laid their lives while about 1,180 persons were injured in their attack while “they (BNP-Jamaat) torched 2,903 transports, 18 trains and eight river vessels apart from setting fire on 70 government offices and establishments”.
Sheikh Hasina said her government assumed office in 2009 amid global recession and food shortage while Bangladesh’s economy was in complete disarray because of the misrule, corruption, terrorism and suppressive policy of the subsequent caretaker government.
“After assuming office, we brought back discipline in all sectors. Confidence and trust were restored in the people,” she said adding that the 6th five-year plan was implemented and now the government was on the way of implementing the 7th five-year plan. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is now on the “highway of development” appearing as the role model while, the country’s economy is now the 45th in the world on the basis of GDP and 33rd on the basis of purchasing power.
Lambasting BNP chairperson for her recent remarks about the number of 1971 martyrs the prime minister said they even undermined the martyred intellectuals. “People of this country have rejected them . . . Those who are distorting history would be dumped in the waste-bin of the history. No derogatory remark against the War of Liberation and Freedom Fighters will be tolerated,” she warned.
Pointing out her government’s constant efforts to strengthen regional cooperation the prime minister said “our goal is to work for the people and change their lot”. Bangladesh achieved absolute sovereignty on 1,18,813-square kilometers of sea area which made it easy to exploit marine resources in an expanded maritime boundary and would have special contribution to national economy, she said.
“Awami League has earned independence for the country and struggled for restoring democracy. The country always moved forward when Awami League was in power,” she said. She reaffirmed her government’s firm stance against militancy and said the defeated forces of 1971 are instigating militancy but her government would go tougher against them.