No need for any headache over visa policy: Prime Minister

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina speaks during the inauguration of the new building of the Dhaka district Awami League office in Tejgaon of the capital city on Thursday afternoon

Referring to the new US visa policy, prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said, “There is no need for any headache over who will give us a visa or not, or who will imposed sanctions. It makes no difference if we don’t travel 20 hours over the Atlantic by plane to go to America.”

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina was speaking during the inauguration of the new building of the Dhaka district Awami League office in Tejgaon of the capital city on Thursday afternoon. Her speech was aired live over television and various online platforms.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina said, “There are many more oceans in this world, many more continents. We will travel to those continents and oceans, and build up friendships. Our economy will grow stronger, will be better, more vibrant.”

She said, “We will stand on our own feet. We will build up our own country, not look towards anyone else.”

The head of government Sheikh Hasina went on to say, “I will tell them, pay attention to the terrorist party that steals votes, that have always manipulated the elections, that toy with the fate of the people… The Canadian High Court has declared BNP to be a terrorist party. It is America that refused Tarique Zia a visa for his terrorism and corruption. Now they are turning to them.”

Saying that there were attempts to obliterate Awami League, the party president Sheikh Hasina said that there have been repeated attacks and assaults. There have been attempts to wipe out Awami League. Yahya Khan tried to do so, Ziaur Rahman tried to do so, Ershad and Khaleda Zia tried to do so. Awami League was built up as an organisation of the people and so no one could destroy this organisation.

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina also spoke about the state of electricity and load shedding. She said, many are suffering in this heat. The government had completely got rid of load shedding. She highlighted certain reasons for the present problems, including the Ukraine-Russia war, the global economic recession and inflation.

Speaking about the import of oil, gas and coal, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said, “No matter how much we try, we have to go though must difficulties to procure the commodities we must bring in from abroad. However, the good news is that we have signed agreements with Qatar and Oman. We will sign agreements with a few more countries so we can buy gas. We will be able to overcome these difficulties.”

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina also castigated those who were apprehensive about the implementation of the proposed 2023-24 financial year budget. She said, every year before the budget is passed, there are those who say it will not be possible to implement the budget. She said that this time the budget was drawn up with the view of Bangladesh as a developing country.

Also among the ministers, advisors and state ministers speaking at the programme were Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan, the prime minister advisor for private industry and investment Salman F Rahman, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid, and state minister for disaster management and relief Md Enamul Rahman.

Presided over by Dhaka district Awami League president Benazir Ahmed and moderated by its general secretary Paniruzzaman, the event was also attended by Awami League presidium members Begum Matia Chowdhury, Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddn and Dhaka city corporation mayor Atiqul Islam. Also speaking on the occasion were Awami League presidium member Kamrul Islam and organising secretary Mirza Azam.