I can hold on to power if I lease out St Martin’s, I won’t do that: PM Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
BSS file photo

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina said there will be no problem to hold on to power if the Saint Martin’s island is leased out, but she won't do that.

She said, "I have no intention to go to power by selling the country's assets."

The PM made the remark while answering the media at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

The press conference took place at her official residence Ganabhaban over the outcomes of her recent visit to Switzerland and Qatar.

The prime minister alleged that BNP wants to come to power by giving a guarantee to sell Saint Martin’s island, reports news agency UNB.

“BNP came to power in 2001 by giving pledging to sell gas. Now they want to sell the country. They want to come to power by pledging to sell St. Martin’s island,” she said.

Hasina said she is the daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and doesn’t want to come to power by selling the country's resources.

“Now if I say that I will lease out St. Martin’s island or our country, there will be no problem for me to stay in power. I know that,” she said.

But the PM said she would not allow anyone to play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people of Bangladesh. “We’ll not allow any one to carry out terrorist activities in any place or attack anyone by using the land of my country,” she added.

“We believe in peace. We believe in peaceful cooperation,” said PM Hasina, adding that Bangladesh didn’t engage in quarrels with Myanmar even after some 1.1 million Myanmar refugees took shelter in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh continues negotiating with Myanmar on the issue, she said, adding that her government believes in the policy ‘Friendship to all and Malice towards none.’

“We didn’t engage in fights or quarrels with them (Myanmar),” said the prime minister.

Hasina visited Qatar from 22 to 25 May to attend the Qatar Economic Forum-2023 and visited Switzerland from 13 to 16 June to join the "World of Work Summit: Social Justice for All," a summit of ILO.