Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday vowed to bring smile to the faces of the distressed people of this country as dreamt by Father of Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman by giving them an improved lifestyle.
“Let’s make a vow together on the martyrdom anniversary of the Father of the Nation and our other family members. Father (Bangabandhu), we promise we’ll bring smile to the faces of the distressed people of your Bangla. Bangladesh will move ahead raising its head high in the world arena and the people of Bangladesh will get an improved lifestyle…it’s a promise,” she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a discussion meeting arranged by Bangladesh Awami League marking the National Mourning Day and 45th martyrdom anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League President, presided over the virtual function joining it through a videoconference from her official residence Ganobhaban in the city, while other participants were connected from the AL central office at Bangabandhu Avenue.
The Prime Minister said the government will do whatever necessary to give the people a better lifestyle as the Father of Nation dreamt that the people of Bangladesh will get food, clothes and improved life.
She said Awami League, returning to power, has relentlessly been working to change the fortune of the country’s people as it is their promise to Bangabandhu. “It’s the people of Bangladesh for whom he (Bangabandhu) did politics,” she added.
Talking about extrajudicial killings, the Prime Minister said Ziaur Rahman had given indemnity to the killers of the Father of Nation and his wife Khaleda Zia indemnity to the killers who unleashed indiscriminate killings in the name of ‘Operation Clean Heart’.
“Now, all talk about extrajudicial killings, but all have forgotten how many people were brutally killed in the name of the ‘Operation Clean Heart’ after Khaleda Zia had come to power,” she said adding that Khaleda Zia assumed power through a ‘farcical’ election on October 1, 2001.
In the name of the ‘Operation Clean Heart’, many people, particularly Awami League leaders and activists, used to be picked up and killed indiscriminately, said Hasina adding that Khaleda Zia had given indemnity to prevent the trial of such killings.
Noting that the Father of the Nation wanted to develop Bangladesh as a hunger- and poverty-free country, she said her government also took the country much closer to this dream by bringing down the poverty rate to 20 percent, raising the GDP growth rate to 8.1 percent and increasing the per capita income.
Bangladesh also started the journey as a developing country coming out from the LDC status before the global outbreak of the coronavirus, she said.
Hasina thanked the leaders and activists of Awami League and its associate bodies for standing beside the helpless people up to union and ward levels across the country during the Covid-19 crisis.
She stressed the need for publishing a list of AL men who died of Covid-19 going to stand by the helpless people. “We don’t see any other political party, organisation or any others helping the people in such a way,” she added.
Mentioning that many people are now affected by flood in the country, she said no one will remain homeless in the country.
Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said Ziaur Rahman had been involved in the killings of the Father of the Nation. “If he was not involved, Why Khondaker Mostaq picked him as the army chief. It’s Ziaur Rahman who provided all sorts of assistance to the killers,” she said.
Ziaur Rahman had refused the visa application of British MP Tomas Williams to enter Bangladesh as a representative of the international commission formed to investigate the August 15 carnage, she said.
“Why didn’t Ziaur Rahman give visa and why didn’t allow the investigation? There’re questions here. The reason is that since he had been involved in this murder, he was scared and didn’t allow the investigation,” said the Prime Minister.
The PM said Khaleda Zia surpassed her husband in the case of patronizing the killers of Bangabandhu after she come to power as she made Bangabandhu’s killers Col Rashid and Bazlul Huda elected in a voter-less election on February 12, 1996 and placed Col Rashid in the opposition.
“Why was Khaleda Zia was so caring about the killers,” said Hasina adding that she gave the posthumous promotion to another killer, Aziz Pasha, and provided its benefits to his family.
Khaleda reinstalled Khairuzzaman, an accused in the Bangabandhu killing case, in the services of the Foreign Ministry.
Mentioning that Ziaur Rahman killed thousands of freedom fighters from the armed forces indiscriminately, the PM said no one could say how long s/he would survive or when would die. No one could dare talk (against these). “Such a reign of terror was established. Coming to power, his wife resorted to the same things.”
She also criticised HM Ershad saying that he also left no work undone and created a reign of terror across the country.
AL leaders Obaidul Quader, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and AKM Jahangir Hossain, among others, spoke at the function.
At the outset of the meeting, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of Bangabandhu and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage.