Breaking any party not my policy: PM

DHAKA, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today refuted allegations of mounting pressures on opposition MP elects to take oath as lawmakers saying she does not believe in splitting any party for the sake of political diversity.

Breaking any party is not my policy. Each party has its unique

characteristics as well as liberty (to run themselves), she told a press conference, called to brief the media on her maiden April 2123 Brunei visit.

The premier simultaneously refuted allegations of government pressures on particularly MP elects from BNP to swear in as lawmakers saying they took the oath due to pressures from their own voters, not the government.

We mounted no pressure (on opposition MP elects) . . . They took oath due to the pressure of the people (and) they are taking oath at their will, she said.

Responding to several questions on internal political issues, she said the ruling Awami League was not exposed to any bankruptcy in terms of political strength which could require split opponents.

Sheikh Hasina said her party itself was capable enough to change the people's lot and urged the countrymen to review the development process to realize that no actual development took place when Awami League was out of power.

She, however, said Bangladesh witnesses a multiparty democracy and each of the party acts in line with their policy while the people make their choice according to their preference.

Asked for comments on speculations about BNP chief and jailed exprime minister Khaleda Zia's parole, she said her government so far received no petition in this regard.

The premier said the formality demands any imprisoned person to apply if he or she seeks parole while Khaleda filed no such application and so I have nothing to say about this.

But she reiterated that the expremier was serving jail terms on graft charges under a court verdict while the government has nothing to do regarding her imprisonment. The corruption case, the premier said, which eventually sent Khaleda to prison despite her 10 years of legal battle which too was filed by the past caretaker government.

It is not a political matter, the premier said.

Terrorism and militancy

Asked about the apprehension of militant attacks, the premier said there is always an apprehension of militant attacks despite the government has been successfully tackling militancy since the Holey Artisan attack in the capital.

The intelligence agencies have remained alert to this end, she said, adding, I held talks with the chiefs of intelligence agencies last (Thursday) night in this respect.

Stressing the need for collective resistance against militancy, she said that all should raise voice against the menace alongside the intelligence agencies.

A massive social awareness is necessary to fight militancy and terrorism effectively, she continued.

Referring to the assassinations of the grenade attacks on an antiterrorism rally of the Awami League in the capital on August 21, 2014, the attack on her rally in Chittagong in 1988, and arson attacks carried out by the BNPJamaat in 2013, 2014 and 2015, she said there were always risk of terror attacks.

The BNPJamaat had inhumanly tortured the Awami League leaders and workers alongside the Hindu and Christian communities across the country after assuming power in 2001.

In this context, she said, the Father of the Nation and four national leaders were also killed in 1975. Another inmate of our family Zyan Chowdhury, grandson of Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, who lost his brother Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni and sisterinlaw Arju Moni in the terror attack on August 15, 1975, was killed in the bomb blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21 last, she mentioned.

Nusrat Issue

Replying to another question regarding Nusrat killing, the premier said, None irrespective of political affiliations will be spared for committing such heinous attack.

She strongly criticized the BNPJamaat for introducing the culture of killing people in arson attacks in the name of movements.

Reshuffle of Awami League from grassroots

Asked about the move to reshuffle the Awami League from the grassroots, she said, We have already formed eight divisional committees to form union, upazila, district and city levels committees as part of the initiative to reshuffle the party from the grassroots.

The committees of the Awami League will be made digital and a committee has been formed to this end, she said.

Asked about creating future leader to lead the party and the country as well after her retirement, Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League said, Awami League is a political party and it has a constitution to run it. The party will decide the future leader.

Job risk at broadcast and print media

Replying to a query about job risk in mass media due to not digitalizing the cable network and introducing pay channel system, the premier said that many applications have been submitted to the government for taking permission of new channels.

I have directed the information minister to give permission to the channels as employment will be generated out of it, she added.

The government has already launched the Bangabandhu Satellite as part of the digitization process, but the Bangladeshi TV channels do not show any interest to use it rather using the foreign satellite giving huge money.

In replying to another query, the premier said, there will be risk for print media due to the advancement of technology, saying, Many famous newspapers across the globe have already closed their print editions as they go on online.

Wage board

The government has completed its work regarding formation of the wage board, she said, adding that now it depends on the owners how much they will implement.

She said that they have no responsibility from now on to this respect as its implementation depends on the owners and journalists.

Rohingya issue:

The prime minister said Bangladesh has given shelter to the Rohingyas on a humanitarian ground as inhuman torture was perpetrated on them.

Alongside we're holding talks with the Myanmar government for the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas. We also signed agreements with them and they agreed to take back the Rohingyas, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Myanmar government had prepared a list of the Rohingyas to be taken back by Myanmar and the UNHCR has approved it.

When they were supposed to go, at that time they started protesting on a plea that they will not return, she said.

If we could have sent back some Rohingyas, the repatriation will have continued, she said.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has already discussed the Rohingya issue with Russia, China, India and Japan. They've agreed to make all sorts of arrangements we've also discussed the issues with five countries which have borders with Myanmar, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the representatives of three top UN organizations including the UNHCR and IOM met her on the repatriation of the Rohingyas.

They informed me that they wanted to do something for the Rohingyas. But I told them you can make arrangements of living and livelihood, education and healthcare and overall security and safety for the Rohingyas, she said.

The UN and other international agencies showed their interest to do something for the Rohingyas, but there is severe reluctance of the Myanmar government in this regard, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said when the talks about repatriation of the refugees are raised, an unrest starts in Myanmar's Rakhaine state.

In this connection, the prime minister said if the refugees stay here, some people give attention to their nurturing, but they do not become sincere in sending back to their homeland.

I told three top UN representatives that the monsoon is nearing. So cyclone, tidal surge and landslide may take place at that time and if the any accident of the Rohingyas occurs, who will be responsible for it, she said.

These organizations will also have to take responsibility to some extent for this, she continued.

Sheikh Hasina said she had already informed the United Nations about the vulnerability of the Rohingyas in the upcoming monsoon. Our efforts are going on in this regard and we want they go back to their homes, she said.

Corrupts and beneficiaries in AL:

The Awami League president said she does not see any intruders and beneficiaries in her party.

Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League leaders and workers liberated the country by sacrificing their life throughout the year. They have contributions to all movements from the Language Movement to the Liberation War, she said.

The premier said the people of the country get something when the Awami League stays in power. Compare a picture that where the country was before 2008 and where it now exists whether the poverty rate is reduced, employment is made and anybody dies of starvation, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League is the only party which is run according to its constitution.

On the other hand, the BNP stays well when it remains in power. Their roots have no strength as they are like as parasite they are like as swarnalata. Such a plant looks like very beautiful and they are grown on other trees which they later destroy, she said.

The prime minister said if the condition of a party like BNP becomes vulnerable, who is responsible for it? Certainly, those who run and lead the party, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League is a tested political party and its principle is to protest against injustice. We didn't create an elite class and our target of development is the rural folk, she said.

About the corruption issue, the prime minister asked the questioner to specifically say that against whom allegation of corruption exists. We must take action against the corrupt as we didn't come to power to commit graft and don't want anybody be indulged in it.

I will not accept if you tell wrong and put false blame on us. Because I've consideration about my party and its leaders and workers, she added.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)