Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today accused the post-1975 rulers of implementing the agenda of the then Pakistani junta to appease Islamabad.
“They didn’t want that the people of Bangladesh will get square meals, houses and pursue the study . . . they were executing the agenda of the Pakistani occupation forces in a different way,” she told a discussion coinciding with the Genocide Day.
The premier said those who grabbed state power after Bangabandhu’s 1975 assassination did not want Bangladesh’s development and advancement and rather wanted the country to be turned into a failed state and remained as a poor country.
“Their intention was to make Pakistan happy . . . Zia, Ershad and Khaleda Zia, all pursued the same agenda,” said Sheikh Hasina, also the president of Awami League.
Bangladesh Awami League (AL) organized the discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre here.
AL Advisory Council Members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, Presidium Members Begum Matia Chowdhury and Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, General Secretary Obaidul Quader and AL Central Committee Member Nurul Majid Humayun spoke on the occasion as party leaders.
Independence Award-recipient freedom fighter Colonel (retd) Sajjad Jahir, Bir Pratik, Awami League Dhaka North City Unit General Secretary Sadek Khan, AL Dhaka South City Unit General Secretary Shahe Alam Murad took part in the discussion, moderated by party’s Publicity and Publication Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud and Deputy Publicity and Publication Secretary Aminul Islam Amin.
“Those who carried out the genocide, are ineligible for the pardon . . . they must face the trial,” the premier said.
She said those who patronised the war criminals should be tried as well and they deserved to be subjected to hatred.
“Those who rewarded the war criminals by handing them over the national flag and making them ministers, committed equal crimes . . . the nation must not forget the fact (and) generations after generations should keep it in mind,” Sheikh Hasina said.
The premier said her government paved ways for the trial of the 1971 criminals and subsequently was executing the court verdicts against them.
The prime minister recalled that Bangabandhu started the trial of 11,000 identified war criminals by constituting international crimes tribunal but after capturing state power illegally, Zia stopped the activities of the tribunal through a martial law ordinance.
“He (Zia) brought back Golam Azam from Pakistan and released all war criminals . . . he also allowed them to do politics and returned the right to vote,” she added.
The prime minister said the post-1975 rulers distorted and changed the country’s glorious history. “Their love for Pakistan reached to such a stage that they imposed an embargo not to utter the Pakistani occupation forces … they allowed only to call them as occupation forces,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the people of the country will have to give a befitting reply to those who were plunged into the love for Pakistan. “They must be punished and their love for Pakistan will have to be forgotten … otherwise there will be no existence of the Bangalees,” she said.
Recalling the sacrifice of three million martyrs and two lakh mothers and sisters during the liberation war, the premier said their contributions to the independence of the country are unforgettable.
“We witnessed our own eyes how our mothers and sisters were tortured during the nine-month bloody war … this is beyond description,” she said.
Pointing out Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country, the prime minister said it’s marching despite numerous obstacles. “We’re advancing towards political, economic, social and economic freedom which Bangabandhu always uttered … our progress towards this freedom will never be halted,” she asserted.
Citing the historic March 7 speech of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation in his speech mentioned that none will be able to suppress the Bangalees. “Bangladesh’s graduation to a developing country has proved that none will be able to suppress us,” she said.
The premier reiterated her determination to celebrate Bangabandhu’s birth centenary in 2020 and the golden jubilee of the country’s independence in 2021 by turning Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty-free country. “We will establish Bangladesh as a developed country by 2041 Insha Allah,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she is not doing politics for personal gains and expectations. “It’s the biggest matter for me what I could give to the people and what I could do for them,” she said.
Calling upon the party leaders and workers to work unitedly for materializing the dream of Bangabandhu, she said: “It won’t be wise to think that what we got and what we didn’t get … the revenge of genocide will be made when we could establish Bangladesh as a hunger and poverty-free country.”