Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad has expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for appointing him as her special envoy.
Pledging his "utmost sincerity" to meet the expectations of Sheikh Hasina, the JP chief, well-known for his political somersaults, said he would "work devotedly in the interest of the nation and to uphold the country's image".
Ershad said this in a statement released yesterday, a day after a special court fixed February 10 for delivering the verdict in the sensational Major General Manzoor murder case.
The former military ruler is the prime accused in the case.
Maj Gen Manzoor, an army general who was a war hero, was killed at Chittagong Cantonment on June 1, 1981, just two days into the assassination of the then president Ziaur Rahman.
In the statement, Ershad said, "The prime minister has given me an important task with a view to building a potentially stronger Bangladesh by wiping out bitter experiences of the past. I express my gratefulness to her for this.”
He observed that the image of Bangladesh has been badly affected due to the recent political crisis which has put manpower export, RMG sector, foreign investment and confidence of the international community at stake.
As the special envoy to the premier, his first work would be to help recover the image of the country, he asserted.
Expressing worries over the waning manpower export to the Middle East, which once was the largest market for Bangladesh's manpower export, the former autocrat noted that he would use his personal connections in the region to reclaim the market.
Ershad also observed that the achievements of the immediate past Awami League-led grand alliance government were not highlighted both at home and abroad.
Besides, foreign investors were losing confidence in investing in Bangladesh due to propaganda and political conflicts, said the JP chairman adding that one of his "sincerest ventures" would be to restore the confidence among foreign investors and to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.
The former president also proposed setting up a special Export Processing Zone for the Middle-East.