12:00 AM, February 07, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 07, 2013

PM blasts Khaleda

Says the BNP chief asked foreign powers to 'punish Bangladesh'

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Staff Correspondent

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday blasted in parliament Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia for her article published in the Washington Times recently, saying she (Khaleda) urged the USA to interfere in Bangladesh's internal affairs to save the country's democracy.
Hasina, also leader of the House, said, “After going through the article, it seems to me that she [Khaleda] does not believe at all in the country's independence and sovereignty. This is why she wants to punish Bangladesh by calling another country [USA].”
In response to a query from Jatiya Party lawmaker Mujibul Haque, the prime minister also said the opposition leader wrote the article urging the USA to stand against the people of Bangladesh and its interests.
In her article, the BNP chief cited the USA's role during Bangladesh's Liberation War and urged it to come forward the way it helped Bangladesh during its Liberation War in 1971, Hasina said.
The premier said the USA was in favour of the Pakistani occupation forces who were carrying out genocide in Bangladesh in 1971, and the USA even sent the Seventh Fleet to help the Pakistani forces.
Hasina said the opposition leader suddenly wrote the article. “I have doubt whether she herself read it. She was prime minister of the country twice. How could she write such an article?” asked Hasina. “Does she believe in the country's independence and sovereignty?”
Earlier on January 31, lawmakers from the Awami League-led ruling alliance accused Khaleda, also BNP chief, of committing sedition by urging the USA to interfere in Bangladesh's internal affairs through her article.
During the question-answer session yesterday, the premier also defended her government's defence purchase deal with Russia signed recently. She claimed her government signed the deal to purchase arms from Russia for the defence forces to strengthen them. She also cited the historic role the then Soviet Union played in favour of Bangladesh during its Liberation War.
Hasina also described her government's various efforts to increase agricultural production and boost the national economy.

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