Drive to continue until eradication of crimes: PM

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Dhaka, November 13: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the ongoing drive against casinos and all sorts of corruption, including bribery, will continue until the elimination of crimes from all spheres of the state and society.

“The drive by law enforcement and other agencies concerned will continue until the elimination of crimes from all spheres of the state and society,” she said replying to a starred question from Jatiya Party (JaPa) MP Rowshan Ara Mannan during her question-answer session in Parliament, UNB reports.

The Prime Minister said laws are being strictly enforced against all the criminals irrespective of their political identity and views.

In reply to another question from JaPa MP Mujibul Haque, she said the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been working to bring the corrupt elements to book. “During the anti-graft drive, legal actions are being taken against those found guilty, including government employees and politicians,” she added.

The national anti-graft body has already urged the Singapore government to provide it information related to the Bangladeshis who are involved in gambling in casinos there, Sheikh Hasina said.

Responding to a question from JaPa MP Rustum Ali Faraji, she said the government has adopted a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy against all social criminal activities, including corruption, terrorism, drug abuse and gambling. ”The drive of the law enforcement agencies will continue until the eradication of terrorism,” she said.

Strict surveillance by law enforcement agencies continues so that no one can conduct illegal casino activities in the future, the Prime Minister said.

“The ongoing drive against all sorts of criminal activities, including corruption, drugs, terrorism and gambling, will continue covering all the sectors and places — district, upazila and municipality,” she said.

No room for insurgency in Bangladesh

The Prime Minister said her government ousted the insurgents and terrorists who were allowed by previous governments to use the territory of Bangladesh to conduct terrorist acts in neighbouring countries.

“I would like to say unequivocally that we’ll in no way allow anyone to use the soil of Bangladesh for carrying out any type of insurgency or terror activities in any other country or my neighbouring countries,” she said.

“Our government has driven out those who had been allowed by previous governments to use our land from Bangladesh,” she said replying to a supplementary question from Tarikat Federation Chairman Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary.

Nazibul Bashar, in his question, said Ziaur Rahman and his wife Khaleda Zia provided arms to Rohingya insurgents in the past and now the BNP-Jamaat clique is trying to create anarchy using Rohingyas as they realised that they will not be able to oust the government through democratic movements or election. “BNP-Jamaat also appointed lobbyists in this regard. What measures has the government taken regarding this?“ he said.

The Prime Minister said, “There’s no doubt that there was Ziaur Rahman’s hand behind creating the Rohingya crisis. Following the killing of the Father of the Nation in 1975, the politics of killing and coup started in Bangladesh. Then the Chittagong Hill Tracts crisis started from 1976-77 while the Rohingya crisis in 1978.”

She said her government always believes in peaceful salutation to the Rohingya crisis and has already taken initiatives to this end. “We’ve ensured that there’ll be no place for any types of terrors in Bangladesh,” Hasina said.

In reply to another supplementary question from Awami League MP Shahiduzzaman Sarker, she said it depends on Myanmar to create trust among Rohingyas for the repatriation of the displaced people.

The Prime Minister said the government has already discussed with India and China to have a permanent solution to the Rohingya crisis. “We expect their active role in this regard.”

Bangladesh has also discussed with other neighbouring countries of Myanmar –- Thailand and Laos — about the issue, she said. “We’ve received good response from everyone. They all now realise that the crisis should be solved… they (the four countries) want to keep their relations with Myanmar …they also want that Rohingyas can go back to Myanmar with safety,” she said.

Hasina said Myanmar once showed interest to take back Rohingyas and a list was also prepared to this end, but a movement was suddenly launched by the displaced people in Cox’s Bazar as they would not go back without ensuring their safety and security in Myanmar. “Now, it depends on Myanmar to create trust among Rohingyas… then it’ll be possible to resolve this crisis.”

No plan to export gas

The Prime Minister said the government has no plan to export natural gas to northeastern states of India.

Replying to a starred question from opposition chief whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga, she said, “Our government has no plan to export natural gas to northeastern states of India.”

Hasina said the government has taken various measures to ensure energy security considering it as the highest priority.

During her recent visit to India, the Prime Minister along with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the activities of exporting bulk LPG to Tripura from Bangladesh, she said.