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Noted poet Syed Shamsul Haque presenting a crest to PM Sheikh Hasina at a reception organised for her by Citizens’ Committee at Suhrawardy Udyan. Photo: PMO

Sheikh Hasina a torchbearer of nation

WT24 Desk

Country’s leading intellectuals and eminent citizens today highly applauded the changes in the socioeconomic and political arenas of the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, saying she is playing the role of a “torchbearer” of the nation to move Bangladesh forward to achieve the dream of independence, agencies report.

“Many people have a negative way of thinking about the country’s politics, economy and overall development and the media by and large give them importance. But they have never focused on the real situation that has taken shape in the socioeconomic, political and cultural arenas and even in sports arena under the prudent, steadfast, and firm leadership of Sheikh Hasina over the years,” they said.

Addressing a grand civil reception at Suhrawardy Udyan here this afternoon, the speakers said Sheikh Hasina, elder daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is striving as the “extended hand” of the great leader for economic emancipation of Bangladesh for which the country was born in 1971 through a bloodbath.

Defying all political obstacles and repeated attempts on her life, Sheikh Hasina with her all courage and determination is taking forward the country to the path of progress and prosperity which Bangladesh never witnessed since its independence. She is working with utmost devotion, sincerity and mental strength to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu and revert the country to the course of the spirit of the War of Liberation, they said.

Jatiya Nagorik Committee accorded the grand reception to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her successful dealing with India for the passage Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in the Indian parliament and achievements in every sphere of the national life. Chairman of the Nagorik Committee and celebrated writer Syed Shamsul Haque presided over the function and presented the reception memento to the Prime Minister. Professor Emeritus of Dhaka University Dr Anisuzzaman read out the citation.

Eminent historian Professor Muntasir Mamun, economist Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman, sociologist Dr Anupam Sen, Shyamoli Nasreen Chowdhury, widow of martyred physician Alim Chowdhury, Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman, valiant Freedom Fighter Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bachchu and former captain of Bangladesh national cricket team Akram Khan spoke on the occasion.

After the playing of the national anthem, the inauguration of the reception began with recitation from the holy books and a theme song composed by Syed Shamsul Haque on the accomplishments of Sheikh Hasina in politics over the years. Noted singer Mita Haq and Mohiuzzaman Chowdhury enthralled the audience with Tagore song — “Aji Bangladesher Hridoy Hote” — while Bulbul Maholanobish and others rendered Nazrul song — “Mora Zhanjar Moto Uddam” — with dance drama directed by noted dancer Shamim Ara Nipa.

Pointing out the steps taken by the government of Sheikh Hasina over the last six years, the speakers said she had taken many epoch-making steps which were not only unprecedented but also examples for other countries in governance, poverty alleviation, food production, improving literacy and development of women and children.  Alongside standing beside the poor and downtrodden as their savior, the Prime Minister strictly dealt with the evil forces, militancy, and terrorism and anti-liberation elements with a strong hand instilling new hopes, inspirations and dreams into the people to lead a new life.

Referring to the commitment of Sheikh Hasina following her return to Bangladesh in 1981 after six years in exile, the speakers said Sheikh Hasina had kept her commitment to the nation to fight for the cause of the people.  Bangladesh now stands on a firm economic base and dreams of implementing giant project Padma Bridge with its own resources due to the capable and pragmatic leadership of Sheikh Hasina, they said, adding that many countries consider the economic stability of Bangladesh as a model.

Responding to the reception and appreciations of the speakers, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Despite tremendous progress of the country over the years, I think it’s not very significant. We have to go a long way to take Bangladesh to the peak of prosperity. And it’s our commitment.”  Dedicating the honour to the people of country, the Prime Minister said the real appreciation should go to them as they voted Awami League to power in the 2008 general election giving it the opportunity to work for the country.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is the land of our pride. We have liberated the country with huge sacrifice of the people aimed at political and economic emancipation. So we have to work hard for economic prosperity of the people, she said. “I never forget that my father had loved the people of this country and embraced martyrdom for them,” Sheikh Hasina said, adding that her government is making relentless stride for development of Bangladesh so that the country can stand on the world stage keeping its head high.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh would no more remain as a poor or poverty-ridden country when it will celebrate the golden jubilee of the independence. She said all her works are guided by the ideology of Bangabandhu, who sacrificed her whole life for the people of Bangladesh.  Sheikh Hasina said her government has given focus on regional cooperation and good relations with all countries particularly neighbours for cherished economic development. In view of this, she said, the present government is following the “friendship with all, malice to none” policy of Bangabandhu.

Sheikh Hasina extended her heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Nagorik Committee for giving the reception, saying she is making her best to fulfill her commitment given to the people after her return to the country in 1981.  “After returning home, I didn’t get back my parents and brothers. But I have got the affection and love of the people of Bangladesh which prompted me to commitment to work for their causes,” she said.

Quoting Bangabandhu Sheikh Hasina said, “Every achievement needs a great sacrifice.” A nation which came into being with huge sacrifice can never fail, she said, adding that to materialize the dream of Bangabandhu she is continuously making efforts. Expressing her firm determination to build a “Digital Bangladesh”, the Prime Minister said a nation cannot live without philosophy. That is why, she said, her government has envisioned “Vision 2021” and economic policy to accelerate the pace of development.

She sought support and cooperation of all to complete the trial of the remaining war criminals to free the country from stigma and uphold the spirit of the War of Liberation. The reception was followed by a cultural programme performed by noted artistes.

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