Tarique will be returned home to face justice: PM
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today vowed to bring BNP’s “fugitive” acting chief Tarique Rahman back home to be exposed to justice in execution of court verdicts handed down to him.
“If the almighty gives us days we will bring him (Tarique) back to the country and execute the verdicts,” she said while addressing a mammoth election campaign meeting at Sylhet Government Alia Madrasa Ground after offering prayers at Hazrat Shahjalal’s (RA) shrine.
The premier dubbed Tarique as the kingpin of militancy, terrorism and corrupt practices who played with the fate of the people while he is now living in London visibly to evade the justice.
A special court earlier this year sentenced Tarique to life imprisonment for masterminding the August 21, 2004 grenade attack killing 24 Awami League leaders and activists while the High Court sentenced him 10 year prison term in a graft case involving a charity named after his father.
“We will not allow anyone to play with the fate of the people of Bangladesh,” Sheikh Hasina told the rally organized by Sylhet district and city units of her party while it was chaired by district AL’s acting president Lutfor Rahman.
The premier said Bangladesh would go ahead with honour and dignity “which it has earned over the years” and urged people to cast their votes for Awami League (AL) and its allies in the coming election for the continued
She introduced the candidates of her party and Awami League-led grand alliance with the crowed at the meeting, joined and addressed as well by Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith among others.
Sheikh Hasina said corrupt practices grabbed BNP to such an extent that they put on auction the nominations of their candidates across the country dejecting many of their leaders.
“Being depressed with the attitude of the party senior BNP leader and former ambassador Enam Ahmed Chowdhury has joined Awami League,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina also lamented former finance minister SAMS Kibria’s son Reza Kibria for contesting in a greater Sylhet constituency with BNP’s ‘paddy sheaf’ symbol saying “nothing could be more deplorable than this”.
Sheikh Hasina arrived in Sylhet this morning on a daylong tour in the second leg of her election campaign when she went first to Hazrat Shahjalal’s (RA) shrine and then offered ziarat at the shrines of Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) and Hazrat Gazi Borhanuddin (RA).
Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, AL candidate from Sylhet-1 (Sadar) Dr AK Abdul Momen, AL Joint secretaries Mahbub-ul Alam Hanif, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Abdur Rahman, Organizing Secretaries Ahmed Hossain, AFM Bahauddin Nasim and Misbahuddin Siraj, Information and Research Secretary Afzal Hussain, Relief and Welfare Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, Awami Jubo League Chairman Alhaj Omar Faruk Chowdhury also addressed the meeting.
Sheikh Hasina accused Tarique of hatching anti-Bangladesh plot staying in London while he was involved in killing, money laundering and weapon smuggling before taking refuge abroad.
She reviewed the heritage of Awami League as one of the sub-continent’s oldest political parties saying it librated the country in 1971 while it constantly continued to work with all devotions to establish the people’s rights. “We have won freedom by giving vote to Awami League. People got development by giving it their vote in 1996 . . . but in 2001 Awami League was forced to concede defeat through a conspiracy,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She said people reap the fruit and could get the scope to change their lot when Awami League remains in power as “per capita income has shot up and the country is moving for prosperity under the stewardship of the Awami League”. “Economically Bangladesh is now a dignified nation amidst world comity,” the premier said.
Pointing out her government’s initiative for overall development of greater Sylhet the prime minister said “Development of Awami League government also touched Sylhet with people in the remote corners oif the region getting access to electricity and opportunity to make their fortune.
She said despite being the country’s prime tea producing region, there was no provision of its public sale there while it was the Awami League government which introduced the tea auction system in Sylhet.
“A Special Economic Zone has been set up (in Sylhet) creating huge scope to draw local and foreign investment and employment, she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed her gratitude to the people of Sylhet for always giving vote in favour of Awami League saying in return her party during its office embarked upon huge projects for development of education, health and communication of the region.
“We are constructing all infrastructure required for a division,” the prime minister said adding that Dhaka-Sylhet road would be turned into a four-lane highway and its work would begin very soon.
Sheikh Hasina said the first international airport in Sylhet was constructed by the Awami League government, which would be extended further while her government also introduced direct flight between Sylhet and London.
A medical university has been established in Sylhet, she said adding that every district of the Sylhet division will have a university, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said after wining the election in 2001, BNP had branded Bangladesh as a corrupt nation making the country champion in corruption for five consecutive years.
After being ousted from power, the party in an orchestrated manner they carried out bomb attacks on progressive forces across the country, killed many distinguished personalities and resorted to a reign of terror.
BNP’s misdeeds and corruption forced Bangladesh to witness the state of emergency in 2006, depriving the people for all democratic rights and lose its honour and dignity.
“People had to wage struggle again to restore democracy,” she said.