Government Policy

Mobilise public opinion against terrorism, militancy: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated her call to the people of all strata to mobilise public opinion against terrorism and militancy as she vowed again to establish Bangladesh as a peaceful nation in the world.

"There are imams, teachers, guardians, journalists and cultural activists in the society alongside officials of the administration and members of the law enforcement agencies. So I would like to urge all to build public opinion together against terrorism, militancy and drug addiction," she said.

"You will have to convince the people that terrorism and militancy are not a way of peace and security and they don't bring any welfare for the people," she added.

The prime minister was talking to a cross section of the people of 11 districts of Chittagong division through videoconferencing from her official Ganabhaban residence here this noon.

Through the videoconferencing, the premier talked to administrative officials, teachers, imams, farmers, workers, rickshaw-pullers, journalists, social workers, local public representatives and members of the law enforcement agencies to involve them more in the government's development activities as well as its ongoing campaign against militancy and terrorism.

The people of 7509 places of 11 districts of Chittagong division were connected with the videoconferencing.

Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Railway Minister Mozibul Hoque, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, PM's Political Affairs Adviser HT Imam, Dr Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, MP, Dr Dipu Moni, MP, and MA Latif, MP, were present at Ganabhaban.

Pointing out her government's firm stance that there won't be any room for terrorism and militancy in Bangladesh, the prime minister said: "It's my call to everybody let's establish Bangladesh as a peaceful nation in South Asia by stamping out terrorism and militancy with united efforts of all."

"We want to stay on the way of welfare and our aim is to make overall

development of the people ... we want to work to achieve the goal," she said.

Describing Islam as the religion of peace, Sheikh Hasina said this

religion remains on the path of peace. "But some people are out to defame Islam by killing," she said.

Sheikh Hasina also called on the alem-ulema to motivate the people so that they don't step into the wrong path. "You will have to convince the people against terrorism and militancy during the prayers time following the directives of the Great Prophet (PBUH), the holy Quran and Hadith," she said.

In this connection, she suggested the guardians to look after that with whom their children develop friendship, what do they do and where they go."You will have to create such an environment so that the children could talk to you in an open mind," she said.

Sheikh Hasina also called upon the teachers of educational institutions,particularly universities, to keep a sharp vigil on the students about what do they do and whether they build relations with terrorists and get addicted to drugs.

"Make efforts to bring them back from such offences, and it is my firm

belief that we could bring more success in combating terrorism if everybody takes initiatives in such a way," she said.

Reviewing the background of emergence of militancy and terrorism in Bangladesh, the prime minister said they found the country as a breeding ground as the terrorists and killers in the past were rewarded by the then military dictator General Ziaur Rahman.

"The killers of Bangabandhu started launching repression on the people after the assassination of Bangabandhu and they established a reign of terror . . . they received rewarded instead of punitive actions under Zia's patronisation," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said General Zia rehabilitated war criminals by releasing them from jail and made them ministers and MPs.

She said Khandakar Moshtaque and General Zia killed Bangabandhu through conspiracy and after assuming presidency in an illegal way, Moshtaque appointed Zia as the army chief while Zia later grabbed power declaring himself as president.

Afterward, the country plunged into darkness, she said, posing a question that how the country where the trial of killers is not held and the defeated forces stay in power could witness development.

Sheikh Hasina said post 1975 usurpers were expert in changing their own fate alongside killing, looting and money laundering and they cared little about the lot of the people and development of the country.

The prime minister said the BNP-Jamaat nexus also established reign of terror by letting loose their terrorists when they came to power in 2001 when numerous Awami League leaders and workers were killed and tortured and fled home on the face of killing and repression of the BNP-Jamaat cadres.

She said a huge number of women including the six-year-old Ajufa were raped by them, adding there only offence as to why they cast vote for "boat".

The prime minister said Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians -irrespective of their religious faiths became victims of their repression and torture.

"They also created dreadful Bangla Bhai and he was patronised by the BNP ministers," she said.

Referring to the mayhem of the BNP-Jamaat nexus before and after the last general elections in 2014 and during the first three months in 2015, Sheikh Hasina said the BNP-Jamaat nexus carried out a genocide like the Pakistani occupation forces in 1971 to foil the elections.

She said they killed over about 150 innocent people and 20 members of the law enforcement agencies in the name of the movement.

"They burnt 508 people and injured 698 people, while mosques, temples, pagodas, churches, power plants, primary schools were not spared from their arson attacks," she said.

The prime minister said BNP preferred not to take part in the January 5 elections but "why the people would take responsibility for their decision and why the BNP would burn the people to death?"

Sheikh Hasina said the BNP took a wrong political decision by boycotting the polls. Why the people would pay price for it and what was their offence?,she said.

The premier said the people of the country became victims of inhuman torture, repression and sufferings during post 1975 Zia regime as he imposed curfew days after days.

"The people were even barred to go to hospital during the curfew," she said adding "what could be expected from his wife as she remains indifferent after burning people to death".

The premier said Khaleda Zia leads a lavish life at her up market Gulshan residence and eating Biriyani while she unleashes arson attacks, vandalism and terrorism and play ducks and drakes with common peoples' fate.

Referring to her invitation for tea and call to join the all party polls time government to Khaleda Zia, the prime minister said she herself made phone call to the BNP leader at 10 in the morning. But Khaleda Zia did not receive the phone at that time. In the meantime I made phone call to Khaleda Zia several times, but she eventually received the call at 6pm.

"It's unfortunate that those who used to wait in our house by sitting on a 'mora' didn't receive my call," she said.

"The shouts and words that I heard when I wanted to talk to her are unspeakable," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she called upon Khaleda Zia to form all party polls time government together through which the election would be held.

"I also offered her any ministry, even the home ministry and told that let's come to hold election together but she didn't respond to my call . . . the people of the country witnessed what they did in the name of resisting election," she said.

Referring to felling of tree by the BNP-Jamaat nexus during their so-called anti-government movement, the prime minister called upon the people to plant at least three trees in their own initiatives to protect environment.

Sheikh Hasina also urged the people not to fill up water bodies like ponds and canals and save these water bodies.

Highlighting her government success in various fields, the prime minister said her government has been implementing 128 various social programmes to remove hunger and poverty from the country.

"We have ensured nutrition security along with the food security," she said.

Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated the golden jubilee celebration programmes of Chittagong University and commissioning of newly procured state-of-the art marine survey vessel, RV Meen Sandhani, at Chittagong Boat Club through videoconferencing from Ganabhaban.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)