Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday described Bangladesh Awami League as one of the “well-organized political parties” in the subcontinent and expressed her firm confidence that none could destroy the organisation.
“Awami League is one of the well-organized and oldest political parties in the subcontinent … none could break the party despite the attacks the party faced time and again in the past and none will be able to do it in future also, Insha Allah,” she said.
Mentioning that the root of Awami League is very deep, she said none could uproot this in the past in spite of efforts for a hundred times and none will be able to do it in future.
Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League president, said this while presiding over a discussion organized by her party at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital on the occasion of its 70th founding anniversary.
AL advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu and Tofail Ahmed, presidium members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Mohammad Nasim, general secretary Obaidul Quader, eminent historian professor Muntasir Mamoon, AL joint secretaries Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Abdur Rahman, Dhaka North City AL unit president AKM Rahmatullah, MP, and Dhaka South City AL unit president Haji Abul Hasnat took part in the discussion.
AL publication and publicity secretary Hasan Mahmud and deputy secretary Aminul Islam Amin conducted the discussion, while deputy leader of Jatiya Sangsad and senior presidium member of the party Syeda Sazeda Chowdhury and other senior leaders were present on the dais.
The prime minister said Bangladesh Awami League is now bright in the struggle and achievement in its 70 years of history and advised the party men to emulate the ideology of their predecessors.
“You’ll have to dedicate yourselves to the welfare of the country and people by following the ideology of the Father of the Nation and your other predecessors,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangabandhu used to love the country and people and his aim was to bring welfare for the country.
“So every leader and worker of the party will have to move with the ideology of the Father of the Nation, and they will have to pursue ‘simple living’ and ‘high thinking’ that we were taught in our childhood,” she said.
The prime minister added that it is possible to achieve many things by leading a simple life and making sacrifice. “Great sacrifice is needed for great achievement and Bangladesh is advancing towards the peak of development as we’re following this principle,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the party leaders and workers will have to move mixing with the people and discarding arrogance. “We’ll have to build a country where people’s welfare will be ensured and where they can move holding their head high.
The prime minister directed the party men to further strengthen the organisation. “You’ll have to be ideal followers of Bangabandhu,” she said.
Pointing out the sacrifice of the Awami League leaders and workers since its inception, Sheikh Hasina said no leaders of any party except Awami League made such sacrifice.
She said many conspiracies were hatched to split Awami League before the independence and after Bangabandhu’s assassination. “But as much as plots were orchestrated against Awami League it was brightened to that extent like diamond,” she said.
The prime minister said the AL leaders and workers endured torture and repression since the party’s inception. “AL founding general secretary Shamsul Haque lost mental balance due to torture of the Pakistani rulers and repeated jail and repression pushed him towards death,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said it is true that Maulana Bhashani left Awami League, but he was a part of history.
“Maulana Bhashani used to write letters to Bangabandhu if he needs anything and the Father of the Nation did not mind to send everything Bhashani needed,” she said.
In this connection, the premier said she also extended support to Bhashani’s family after her return to the country in 1981.
Highlighting Bangladesh’s stunning socioeconomic development in the last 10 years, the prime minister said it has been possible due to the continuity of the Awami League government.
In this connection, she expressed gratitude to the people and the party men. “The people have given scope to us to serve them by keeping confidence in and electing us time and again,” she said.
The AL chief said the fate of the people changed and they got something whenever the party came to power. “We’ve brought down poverty rate to 21 per cent from 40 per cent and I’ve announced that we will cut down the rate further and we know that 17/18 per cent poverty rate exist in many developed countries,” she said.
“We’ll show that we can reduce poverty to a level at least 1 per cent less than those countries,” she added.
Sheikh Selim said general Ziaur Rahman was a Pakistani agent during the liberation war.
“Both Khandakar Moshtaque and general Zia were Pakistani agents,” he said, adding general Zia was posted to Bangladesh before independence by ISI to foil the mass upsurge.
The senior AL leader also said that Pakistani general Aslam Beg wrote a letter to Zia as he was a Pakistani agent.
Obaidul Quader said the 70th founding anniversary of the AL was celebrated across the country yesterday with huge enthusiasm.
“The founding anniversary programmes of the party are also going on,” he said.
The AL general secretary called upon the party leaders and workers to earn love of the people and work for their welfare in that way.
“For a politician, there is nothing great than earning love of the people and we learned this teaching from Bangabandhu and his able daughter Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Muntasir Mamoon said the AL government has earned the confidence and trust of the cultural activists due to its various initiatives.
He called upon the government to raise allocation further for the education and cultural sectors, saying that economic GDP will not be consistent if the GDP in two vital sectors are not increased.