PM slams Fakhrul for his satellite remark

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Dhaka, June 06: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday called BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir an imbecile and ignorant man for raising a question about the ownership of the country’s first satellite, Bangabandhu-1.“Of course, Bangladesh is the owner of this satellite, Bangladesh government is the owner of this satellite like other government entities,” she said.

The premier said this while responding to a supplementary question from ruling party MP Fazilatun Nasa Bappy during the PM’s question-answer session in Parliament.

The BNP secretary general at a programme last month alleged that the ownership of the country’s first satellite, Bangabandhu-1, went to two people, but he did not mention their names.

She said two people must not be the owners of the Bangabandhu-1. “This is shameful to make such comments,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, however, said if anyone takes any transponder of the satellite on rent then that person could use a specific space.

Of the 40 transponders of the satellite, Bangladesh can use at best 20, she said adding, “The rest of the transponders can be used by Saarc member countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.”

The PM wondered why the BNP secretary general made such comments.

She added: “Such remarks cannot be made if anyone has love for the country and its people, and if one believes in the Independence of the country. When the whole nation is very happy with the launching of the satellite, why the BNP is so upset?”

Hasina mentioned that the Information Ministry has allowed two people to run Direct Television to Home (DTH) business in the country using the satellite.

“I don’t know, whether the opposition leader indicated that, but I don’t understand how with this the ownership of the whole satellite has been transferred to them,” she said.

The Prime Minister said these types of imbecile and ignorant comments are not acceptable to the nation.

“With this, the nation has been able to understand they (BNP) don’t love the country, they don’t have any idea about technology. And that’s why the country couldn’t make progress during their regime,” she told the House.

Responding to another supplementary question of independent MP Dr Md Rustum Ali Faraji, Hasina said the government has started the process to launch another satellite ahead of the expiry of Bangabandhu-1.

The Prime Minister said the government wants to move forward keeping with the pace of the world. “We’ll adopt the technology which will come to us…this the era of satellite and we launch ours, let’s see what comes next, we’ll surely think about the next one when it comes,” she said.

In response to another supplementary question from Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam, she said the satellite has reached its orbital and started sending signals. It’ll take further time to receive clear footage through the satellite,” the Prime Minister said.

“When it’ll start working, you’ll see there’s no problem, there is nothing to worry about it,” she added.

Hasina said the location of the satellite at the 119.1° East longitude geostationary slot would not hamper getting clear footage.

She said every part of the country which is now out of internet services would come under the satellite network, reports agency.

The Prime Minister said the slot of the satellite has been hired from Sputnik of Russia. All the Saarc member countries and Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan would be able to use the satellite as its location covers the space of these countries.