Dhaka, Jan 12: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday sought all-out support from people for turning Bangladesh into a middle-income one by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.
The Prime Minister also issued a strong warning against maligning the country’s War of Liberation and freedom fighters while addressing the nation marking the completion of two years of her 2nd successive government after a landslide victory in the January-5 national election held in 2014.
“No affront to the country’s Liberation War and freedom fighters by anyone will be tolerated. Forge a consensus against these elements, and we’ll be there with you,” she said.
She also renewed her resolve saying, “We’ll turn Bangladesh into a middle-income country by 2021 and a prosperous developed country by 2041 along with the optimistic and confident people of the country, Insha Allah. I seek all-out support from you.”
Noting that Bangladesh now stands at a historic juncture of development, Hasina said, “Let’s continue this march towards development rising above everything and irrespective of class, creed and division. Let’s turn the country into a hunger- and poverty-free prosperous developed one.”
In her almost 30-minute televised address beginning at 7:30pm, Hasina said Bangladesh is a victorious nation in the great Liberation War and no one will ever be able to suppress the nation. “We’ll surely establish ourselves in a dignified position in the global arena and thus build Sonar Bangla as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.”
Hasina said when the country is moving upward in the staircase of development with the united efforts of all, the cohorts of the defeated forces of the Liberation War are trying to create instability and anarchy in the country.
Terming Bangladesh a country of communal harmony, she categorically said nobody will be allowed to spoil the country’s communal harmony. “We’re taking stern actions against the misleaders and will get tougher, if necessary.”
Mentioning that it was the commitment of her government to hold the trial of war criminals, she said her government is moving on with their trial and the verdicts are being executed. “No one will be able to deter this trial process. The country’s people have rejected those who don’t want the trial of war criminals.”
Strongly denouncing and condemning the heinous speech by BNP chief Khaleda Zia and her party leaders about the 30 lakh martyrs during the Liberation War alongside maligning the martyred intellectuals, Hasina said, “People have rejected them. And those who’ll distort the history will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”
Turning to the recently completed countrywide pourashava elections, she said the polls were held peacefully in 223 pourashavas as those were free, fair and peaceful compared to any time in the past.
Recalling the atrocities, arson and vandalism against innocent people before the January-5 polls and then again for three months in 2015 by the BNP-Jamaat nexus, Hasina said the BNP chief through staying at her Gulshan office for long 92 days with 68 men last year staged a drama keeping leaving people in untold miseries.
“She (Khaleda) also gave orders for unleashing killings, but her such terrorist acts didn’t get public support and she had to return to her house snubbing nose after appearing before the court,” Hasina said extending her heartfelt thanks and gratitude to people for protesting the immoral blockade programme by the BNP-Jamaat.
“The arson terrorists have already been brought under trial after their arrests and their trial is going on. Those who have snatched your near and dear ones, and caused damage to public life and property will surely be punished,” she said.
The Prime Minister said the BNP-Jamaat clique could not tolerate democracy and development as they could not tolerate people to live in peace, continue their livelihood with smiling faces.
Hasina also highlighted various successes and achievements of her government in various fields, including in socio-economy, transport and communication, food, education, health, ICT, women empowerment, governance, sports, foreign relations over the last seven years.
Noting that Bangladesh is now on the highway of development and is a role model of development, she said the country’s GDP growth rate will soon cross the seven percent mark as it has successfully maintained over six percent growth rate for the last few years.
Hasina said the power generation capacity has now reached 14077 MW with some 75 percent of people getting electricity facility. “We’ll take electricity to every household by 2021, Insh Allah.”
She informed that work is going on for setting up 16 economic zones out of the 100 while vehicles will ply the Padma Bridge by 2018 which is expected to boost the country’s GDP by another 1.2 percent, work for constructing tunnel beneath the Karnaphuli River will soon start while initiative has been taken to start the work on the 3rd Shitallakhya Bridge in Narayanganj.
She said health card will be provided to one lakh families living below the poverty line and it will be gradually distributed among all the poor families throughout the country. One university either in public and private initiative will be set up in each district, Digital Bangladesh has been established through the relentless efforts of government over the last seven years and Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will be launched by this year.
Hasina, also the President of the ruling Awami League, said parliament has now turned into the centre of all activities thanks to the lively participation and opinion from the opposition.
The salaries and allowances of the public servants have been raised by 123 percent, the media is now enjoying full freedom as they could freely criticise the government, Bangladesh is now a ‘Brand Name’ in UN peacekeeping missions which is a matter of pride for the nation.