Hasina again promises to eradicate terrorism to build a secular B’desh for all religions

Addressing the nation over TV to mark her the third year of her present tenure amid thirteen years of being in power, she also said the present government helmed by the Awami League has foiled the rise of militancy.

Again announcing her commitment to fulfilling the dream of the Father of the Nation to build a secular and democratic state free from exploitation and deprivation, “where people of all religions, castes, classes and professions will live happily and peacefully. Everyone will have access to food, clothing, shelter and medical treatment”, she said that unfortunately, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could not fulfil his dream.

“On August 15, 1975, the anti-liberation reactionary forces killed my parents with his family. By killing him, the progress of Bangladesh was stopped,” she said.

Noting that before the 11th parliamentary elections in 2016, her party announced a manifesto titled ‘Bangladesh on the path to prosperity’, she said that its main theme was to build an efficient, service-oriented and accountable administration to eradicate terrorism, militancy and build a hunger-poverty-illiterate free, secular Bangladesh.

“By 2031, Bangladesh will be an upper middle-income country and by 2041, it will be a high-income rich country,” she stressed.

However, she warned that vested quarters comprising of anti-liberation forces, is attempting to mislead Bangladesh’s development partners abroad.

She asked the people to remember that they have witnessed various notoriety of the anti-liberation rulers including crushing military rule, deviation of consciousness of the liberation war, distortion of history and lack of democracy.

The betrayers plundered the wealth of the people, deprived them, besides dishonoured the blood of 3 million martyrs, she said.

“Bangladesh has progressed a lot in the last 13 years. It has been possible as the people have kept confidence in us,” she said in an apparent reference to her government’s successive victories in elections

She said her government was working with a target to turn Bangladesh into a welfare-oriented, developed and prosperous country by 2041, and “We hope you (people) will stand beside us as you did in the past to this endeavour”.

She said all her government’s endeavour to build a prosperous future for the new generation while the country also largely relied on the “unending vigour” of the younger generation in building a progressive Bangladesh confronting all the odds.

“I firmly believe our generation after generation will march ahead with keeping their heads high,” Sheikh Hasina said.

Noting that she returned to the country in 1981 after living in exile for 6 years after the tragic incident of 1975, she said that after 21 long years, in 1996, her Awami League got the responsibility to rule the nation by the vote of the majority of the nation.

“We took the initiative to establish Bangladesh as a self-respecting country in the world with responsibility. Between 2001 and 2006, during the BNP-Jamaat and caretaker government regime, the Khaleda Zia-led government was directly involved in communal attacks and militancy.”

The Awami League-led grand alliance government started its journey on January 6, 2009, after its landslide victory in December 2008 elections.

She said that after taking charge of the state in 2009, during the last 13 years of the Awami League government, Bangladesh has established itself as a self-respecting country in the world. Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in the socio-economic and infrastructure sectors.

“2021 was a year of unprecedented recognition of our development. We achieved final recognition of becoming a developing nation last year. The achievement is a matter of joy and pride for the Bengali nation as it coincided with celebrations of the Mujib Year and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence,” she said.

She noted that a certain group is jealous of Bangladesh’s progress towards becoming a developed nation and urged all to “keep a watchful eye so that no one can play tricks with the fate of the public”.

“Our development progress cannot be allowed to be hampered in any way,” the Prime Minister added.

She said that different global organisations praised Bangladesh’s economic performance with the World Economic Forum predicting the country to be the 24th largest economy by 2030 while the Economist placed it in the ninth position in a list of 66 successful emerging economies.

Sheikh Hasina said the country was currently leading South Asia in various socio-economic indexes as the outcome of her government’s policy initiatives with a holistic approach, primarily wiping out poverty, developing health systems, and empowering women.

She also mentioned her government so far announced 28 stimulus packages worth over 18 million takas and 56.76 per cent of the amount was disbursed by October 2021, befitting over 67 million individuals and 118,000 organizations.

She said Bangladesh secured the number one position in terms of GDP in South Asia with 5.43 per cent growth during the last fiscal, also heightening the per capita income to $2,554 in 2021

Sheikh Hasina further said the people of this country are the source of power and her party Awami League believes in the power of the people. She also reiterated the government’s zero-tolerance policy against corruption.

She also sought people’s extra caution against quick-spreading new coronavirus variants, warning that the crisis was yet to be over, and urged all eligible people to be vaccinated in the quickest possible time.

“The crisis is yet to end,” she said.