Hasina crosses swords against BNP-Jamaat

Special Correspondent

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Bangladesh Prime  Minister  continues  to  cross swords  against  BNP and Jamaat.
Blaming Khaleda Zia and Jamaat for Bangladesh’s losing the GSP facilities in the US market, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina  told parliament  on Wednesday,   that the BNP chief and the Islamist party were spreading propaganda abroad through lobbyists.
“The BNP and Jamaat appointed lobbyists to destroy the image of Bangladesh and cancel the GSP facilities. Besides, anti-liberation force and the collaborator of Pakistani occupation force Jamaat-e-Islami appointed lobbyists to conduct negative propaganda against Bangladesh,” Hasina said while replying to lawmakers’ queries.
The PM, however, expressed her hope that Bangladesh would get the Generalised System of Preferences, saying the USA has to remember that they also have around $2 billion investment in Bangladesh.
Hasina said some local evil forces, not any superpower, were responsible for the cancellation of the GSP facilities.
She said, “It was very regretful that a person who was a prime minister and an opposition leader, but now a leader of a party, had sent a letter to the American government seeking cancellation of the GSP facilities for Bangladesh.” She also published an article in a US newspaper tarnishing the country’s image, the PM added.
On the USA’s investment in Bangladesh, Hasina said, “The USA has to remember that before the tenure of the Awami League government in 1996, their investment in Bangladesh was only US$ 25 million. During our tenure, their investment rose to around $1.2 billion … It happened due to the Awami League government.
“We had created that opportunity for them and currently the USA has investment of around $2 billion in Bangladesh, and they should remember this.”
Hasina, also leader of the House, said the USA wanted to play with the people of Bangladesh. They had sent the Seventh Fleet during the Liberation War to help the Pakistani occupation forces.
“But Bangladesh achieved its liberation and they couldn’t stop us from achieving our victory,” she added.
Without mentioning Professor  Dr Yunus, Hasina said another person, who lost his position as the managing director of a bank after losing a legal battle, became very angry and “got engaged in spreading negative propaganda against the government”.
“The BNP-Jamaat along with the bank’s MD tried to tarnish the image of the country but could not stop the country’s progress. They tried to stop the construction of the Padma Bridge without any reason.
“But they could not prevent the construction of the bridge. We are constructing it on our own,” she said.
Hasina said 90 percent of the total export to the USA is RMG and apparel items, which are not under the GSP. For exporting RMG and apparel items, she said, Bangladesh pays $850 million per year as duty.
The items covered by the GSP were insignificant, Hasina said, adding, “We had availed of $25 million advantage only.”
But she admitted that the cancellation of the GSP was harmful for Bangladesh’s image.
Hasina also lambasted Khaleda for observing her “fake” birthday on August 15 amid festivity. She said the people of the country could understand this and they had also denounced such act.
Hasina  crosses sword aains tBNP_Jamaat.  The PM said it was the duty of all to uphold the ideology of Bangabandhu. “It’s our duty and we’re discharging it properly.”
Hasina also said it was her firm belief that no one could stop the march of Bangladesh towards socioeconomic development.
Hasina expressed her firm determination to hold the trial of war criminals and culprits of August 15 bloodbath.
“We’ve tried some of the culprits of 1971 and 1975. The trial is going on and it’ll continue no matter what obstacles come [in the way].”
Hasina said she never cared for her life. “I’m doing politics on the soil of the country putting my life at stake.”

Source: Weekly Holiday

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