No chance of 1/11-like incident, says PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has firmly said there is no chance of the recurrence of any 1/11-like incident in Bangladesh as her government is taking punitive actions against every sort of corruption mercilessly.
‘We're taking measurers in advance so that no 1/11-like incident can happen again in the country. I can tell you there’s no need of any 1/11-like situation. I’ll take actions if any unjust thig happens, no matter who commits that, even if that person belongs to my own party. The purge must begin from own house…,’ she said.
The Prime Minister was addressing a press conference at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in New York on Sunday.
Sheikh Hasina categorically said there will be no '1/11-like' episode in Bangladesh again and said she will do everything whatever is needed.
She said some people are used to showing off their wealth that comes suddenly. ‘We need to give a blow to this section of society.’
Hasina said she does politics for the wellbeing of people and has come to power after being elected with the votes of people, and she always thinks about their wellbeing.
She said they will have to be careful so that there is no bad effect on her party or society due to its prolonged stay in power. ‘I’ve to tackle that as well. That’s why I’m conducting this drive (against corruption).’
The Prime Minister said a section of people might be unhappy due to this drive but she said it matters little to her. ‘I’ve no affection for them as I want each and every person of the country to stay happy and live a better life.’
She went on saying, ‘It cannot be allowed that a few people will pollute society taking [political] advantage. This is not acceptable to me. So, I’m taking actions.’
The Prime Minister said it is unimaginable that gambling machinery can enter the country under cover of sports item import.
Earlier, she said, the government had conducted a drive against militants to check any possible anarchic situation in the country and it achieved a success in that drive. ‘Drive against drugs is still going on, we’re almost successful in that…now we’ve started drive against corruption.’
Hasina said her government has been working tirelessly for the economic development of the country and it is formulating projects for rapid development and allotting funds for that. ‘I want every penny of that fund to be used properly and every project be finished smoothly. If there’s any irregularity, the development of the country will be hampered.’
Responding to a question, the Prime Minister said she has extended a letter to US President Trump during the luncheon hosted by the UN Secretary general.
Asked about the content of the letter, Hasina said the government is trying to bring back the killers of Father of the Nation who have been living in the USA. ‘Basically, I’ve given him the letter to inform him about the matter.’
The Prime Minister said she also told him about the issue during the luncheon.
Hasina said the USA is always very much vocal about human rights. ‘Then how the killers of the Father of the Nation, women and children could stay in this country!’
She said one of the killers is staying in Canada, too. ‘The killers of Bangabandhu are staying in different parts of the world, we’re requesting all (to send them back). These killers are not good for those countries, too.’
Hasina said if those countries send the killers of Bangabandhu back to Bangladesh it will be possible to implement the court verdict.
Replying to a question about Rohingya issue, the Prime Minister said Myanmar has created the crisis and it must take its responsibility. ’Myanmar has created the problem and they'll have to resolve it.’
Turning to the comments of the Myanmar leader in the 74th UNGA in which he described Bangladesh's demand for creating safe zone in Myanmar for Rohingyas as baseless, Hasina said it is a matter of shame and disgrace for as well as weakness of Myanmar that its citizens have taken shelter in another country as refugees.
‘This is our biggest question why they're not taking back their nationals from Bangladesh?’ she asked.
Hasina said Myanmar should create confidence among Rohingyas so that they can return to their homeland,’ she said.
About loan default culture in Bangladesh, Hasina said it was military dictator Ziaur Rahman who had introduced this culture in the country.
She said the government is taking adequate steps to free the country from this loan default culture.
Turning to high bank interest rate, she mentioned that it is not possible for many to repay loan due to high interest rate.
‘There’re many companies who run businesses after taking loans, but they're not repaying loans,’ Hasina said adding that many people think there is no need to repay loan.
‘You've seen what Grameen Phone is doing. They don't pay tax and when it turns huge then it says let's go negotiation. You can do once in a while or twice, but you cannot do this repeatedly,’ she said.
Hasina said there was another problem that when emergency was declared in 2007, many businessmen became loan defaulters as they were arrested or fled the country at that time.
She said the government is taking special steps to restore discipline in the banking and financial sector. ‘We've already given directives to bring down interest rates to a single digit and the state-owned banks are following the instructions.’
Responding to a question about stock market, Hasina said those who are involved in it will have to invest in the stock market very cautiously.