Bangladesh now unstoppable in dev, says PM
Renewing her allegation that the BNP-Jamaat clique is behind the recent killings, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh is now unstoppable in its development drive and no conspiracy can deter it.
"Bangladesh is becoming an indomitable power and its ongoing development cannot be stopped any conspiracy or destructive move. The country will become a middle-income one, stamping out hunger and poverty much before 2021," she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a community reception accorded to her by Bangladeshi diaspora at Kurhaus Hotel here on Thursday night, the last day of her three-day official visit to the Netherlands.
Hasina said, "Bangladesh is progressively moving forward in all sectors and no one can ignore it now. No conspiracy will work to skid the country off its aspired goal of achieving economic prosperity and social development."
Mentioning the destructive politics of BNP-Jamaat clique over the years, she said Khaleda Zia has again bogged down in her conspiratorial politics and her every step is aimed at tarnishing Bangladesh's image. "They're behind the recent killings, anarchy and subversive activities."
Hasina urged the Bangladeshi expatriates and foreign entrepreneurs to come up with their investments in Bangladesh's various sectors, and brighten the country's image.
Referring to the political situation in Bangladesh following 1/11 changeover in 2007, the Prime Minister said the then caretaker government denied her entering the country from London.
"At that time expatriate Bangladeshi nationals came forward in her support and they, putting their lives at risk, accompanied her in her journey to Bangladesh.
Terming the Netherlands as a good friend of Bangladesh, Hasina said the country was always beside Bangladesh during its needs. "So, she paid the first-ever officials visit to the Netherlands to boost the ties."
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh would have been a developed nation much ago had Bangabandhu been alive.
"Bangabandhu, during his three and a half years' tenure had accomplished most of the tasks needed for cementing the foundation of an independent and sovereign state," she recalled.
Hasina said Bangladesh could not progress in any front after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu.
"Rather, politics of killing and coups loomed large, while democracy, freedom and the rule of law were sent to oblivion."
She said Ziaur Rahman captured power illegally after killing Bangabandhu, and rehabilitated the killers and war criminals as well. He freed 11,000 war criminals from jail and rewarded the killers of Bangabandhu by giving foreign postings.
Hasina said the people of Bangladesh had to suffer for long 21 years and they received real taste of development in 1996 when the Awami League government came to power with public mandate.
But, their happiness could not sustain more than five years as BNP and Jamaat came to power again in 2001. "Their repression and intimidation continued till 2006."
She said the 2008 election was a turning point for Bangladesh history when people gave mandate to Awami League again to constitute the government.
"With this change, the country got back the momentum of development in every sector."
Hasina lambasted BNP for scrapping a deal with a Netherlands company to procure computers for government offices.
Bangladesh government had come up with the deal during its 1996-2001 tenure to procure computers from Dutch computer manufacturer Tulip Computers NV.
As the 'Tulip' coincided with the name of Tulip Siddiqui, one of her niece of Sheikh Hasina, now a British parliament member, BNP government, after assuming office in 2001, scrapped the deal on the plea that the Tulip Computer is owned by Tulip Siddiqui.
"The unscrupulous decision of the BNP government caused a loss of Tk 32 crore to the national exchequer that came as a fine for breach of the contact," the prime minister said.
Recalling the role of expatriate nationals in Bangladesh's development, the Prime Minister said they have contributed to all political, economic and social achievements of the country.
"Expatriates have a major role in current economic development as they send around US$ 27.2 billion in remittance every year," she said.
Hasina recalled that expatriates had sent Sir Thomas William to fight for Bangabandhu in the 'Agartala Conspiracy Case' and their other contributions.
They had initiated to send Thomas William to investigate the killing of the Father of the Nation. "But, Ziaur Rahman barred him from coming to Bangladesh," she said.
State Minister for Water Resources Nazrul Islam, president of All Europe Awami League Anil Das Gupta, UK Awami League president Sultan Sharif, president of Holland Awami League Mahid Faruk, among others, spoke on the occasion.