Dhaka: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the party workers to work together to accelerate the pace of development and take a vow to build a nation as dreamt by Bangabandhu.
“Bangabandhu is no more amongst us, but we have his ideology. We are trying to build up the country according to the guidelines he gave at a public meeting at Suhrawardy Udyan after his return home on January 10, 1972,” she said.
“So it’s our pledge to our Father of the Nation to build a prosperous nation as dreamt by him,” she said while addressing as the chair of a discussion on ‘Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day’ at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) here.
Bangladesh Awami League organized the discussion marking the return of Bangabandhu from nine months of Pakistani captivity on this day in 1972 after Bangladesh won independence on December 16, 1971 through a bloody war against Pakistan.
Recalling the memories of the return of Bangabandhu from Pakistan imprisonment in 1972, the Prime Minister, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu, said she first came to know of his release from BBC news followed by a telephone call from London.
“Before that we were in the dark about whether he was dead or alive. As we heard the BBC news our pleasure knew no bounds,” she said adding that Bangladesh’s liberation was completed through his return home, making way to materialize the aspirations of the people.
Sheikh Hasina said the anti-liberation forces killed Bangabandhu at a time when he took initiatives for area-based development of the country through administrative decentralization and uniting the people of all strata.
“The killers of Bangabandhu took away 36 years from the life of the people of Bangladesh pushing the country backward, introducing a farcical democracy in collusion with the anti-liberation elements and under the purview of military rule and curfew,” she said.
“We have made Bangladesh a role model of development within nine years,” she said asking why the post-1975 governments failed to do so in 36 years. She said no political party other than Awami League can do anything better for welfare and economic progress of the people of Bangladesh.
Central leaders of the party Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matiya Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, and Bangabandhu Professor of Dhaka University Muntasir Mamun took part in the discussion.
Publicity Secretary of the party Dr Hasan Mahmud and Deputy Publicity Secretary Aminul Islam conducted the meeting addressed, among others, by general secretaries of the party’s Dhaka North and Dhaka South units Sadek Khan and Shah Alam Murad.
Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation has fought his whole life to establish the rights of the oppressed people. He won the mass support for liberating the country and united the nation to achieve the goal.
“People obeyed his all directives word by word after his historic speech on March 7, 1971 defying the administration of Yahya Khan, making him an unparalleled leader of the nation,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Pakistani rulers were compelled to set him free from jail amidst international pressure and take back the stranded soldiers after their defeat in the Liberation War.
After coming back home, she said, Bangabandhu reinforced his plan to build up the country’s devastated economy and make Bangladesh as a golden Bangla. Within ten months, he formulated the country’s constitution which Pakistan failed to do in nine years, she said.
The prime minister said Bangabandhu never believed that any Bengali can kill him. But, unfortunately, many spoiled sons were born in Bangladesh alongside many worthy sons, who brutally killed him.
Sheikh Hasina said the killers of Bangabandhu buried the country’s democracy and all aspirations plunging the nation into a complete darkness and beginning a farce in the name of democracy.
“The democracy introduced by Ziaur Rahman was tantamount to rehabilitation of the war criminals and killers of Bangabandhu,” she said adding that people of Bangladesh got the real taste of democracy in 1996 when Awami League assumed power.
Sheikh Hasina said her government embarked upon a journey to build Bangladesh with the ideology of Bangabandhu after coming to power in 2009 and within nine years took the country to a prestigious position on all fronts.
She lambasted BNP and its allies for their destructive politics saying the country is going ahead, but BNP is trying to push back the country as they had done after coming to power in 2001.
In every socioeconomic area, BNP pushed the country back during their 2001-2006 tenure and now they are pursuing destructive politics to derail the country from the path of development.
“They could not accomplish the task in 36 years what we have done in only nine years,” she said adding that Bangladesh goes forward when Awami League remains in power.
The prime minister expressed her firm resolve that Bangladesh would be a middle income country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041 under the leadership of the Awami League. She urged the party leaders and workers to work together in this regard.