1975 carnage delayed Bangladesh’s graduation to developed nation: PM


 DHAKA, Mar 18, 2018 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh could have been a developed nation in 10 years after independence if Bangabandhu was alive as the country was witnessing a massive development campaign under his leadership until 1975.

Addressing a discussion on Bangabandhu, the premier said the country joined the club of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in three years of independence but it took 47 years to become a developing nation.

“If Bangabandhu was alive Bangladesh would have achieved the goal of (becoming the developing nation) goal within five years and by ten years the country would have been a developed one,” she said.

The premier said Bangabandhu founded Bangladesh, setting up all basic structures required for its economic, cultural and political fronts.

Awami League staged the discussion to mark Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s 98th birthday and National Children Day at Bangabandhu International Conference (BICC) with

Sheikh Hasina in the chair being the party’s president as well.

She said Awami League’s 2014 installation to power enabled it to earn the status of a developing nation but “our development process would have been spoiled if BNP and its cohorts could make their way to power”.

“It (BNP-Jamaat’s installation) would have smashed the dream of our economic progress,” the premier said.

Sheikh Hasina urged the party leaders and workers to work together to make Bangladesh a middle incoming country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.

Jatiya Sangsad deputy leader and Awami League presidium member Sajeda Chowdhury, party’s advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Syed Ashraful Islam, Matia Chowdhury, Abdul Matin Khasru and MA Mannan, general secretary Obaidul Kader, noted artist Hashem Khan and literateur Selina Hossain took part in the discussion.

Publicity secretary of the party Dr Hasan Mahmud conducted the discussion.

The Prime Minister said the very birth of Bangabandhu necessitated the emergence of independent Bangladesh. People have confusions whether the birth of Bangladesh was possible at all without the birth of the great leader, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu never celebrated his birthdays with mirth and merriment as his people were living under poverty and distress. After 1948 he passed most of his birthdays in prison.

The Prime Minister said since 1948, Bangabandhu was preparing his people for independence defying all pressures, intimidations and threats of the Pakistani rulers. Bangabandhu was repeatedly put behind the bar, but nothing could refrain him from heading towards his goal, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said people of Bangladesh were completely unsafe and unprotected during Indo-Pak war in 1965, after which Bangabandhu piloted the six-point demand.

“Pakistani rules had hatched conspiracies to kill him in Lahore after floating the six-point demand. But, he succeeded to return home with the help of some of his close friends,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu united the whole nation to press home the six-point demand. She pointed out Bangabandhu had come to realize that Pakistanis would not handover power even if the Awami League could win in the 1970 election.

Bangabandhu also presumed that liberation of the nation was not possible without war with Pakistan, she said adding Bangabandhu had decided to take part in the election as part of his movement and to make it clear steadfastly that who would lead the Bengali nation.

After his release in the Agartala Conspiracy Case, Sheikh Hasina said, Bangabandhu visited London immediately after his release to take final decision about the course of action in case of a war against Pakistan and as well decide to get the support of India and other countries.

In 1970, the Prime Minister said Pakistani rulers backed a 20-party alliance in the general election and hoped the alliance to win at least 20 to 30 seats. But, Awami League candidates won in all seats excepting two as predicted by Bangabandhu, she added.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu had made every step forward very carefully in his long struggle to independence thinking any wrong step could impede the peoples’ aspirations.

The Prime Minister said Bangabandhu had a deep faith in people and democracy. To respect his belief in democracy, Bangabandhu had gone for an early election despite the fact that no country went to hold general elections under such a situation.

“But, it was Bangabandhu who gave general election within one year of independence as per new constitution, which bore testimony to his faith in democracy,” she said.