Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged the people to remain united to expedite Bangladesh’s development to materialize the dreams of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"InshAllah, we'll build this country as hunger- and poverty-free as dreamt by the father of the nation,” she told an Awami League programme in Dhaka on Wednesday marking Bangabandhu's Homecoming Day.
“... This is our vow today ... I urge the people to stay united to expedite the development activities of the country," she added.
Bangabandhu returned to independent Bangladesh on January 10 after his release from the Pakistani jail in 1972.
Prime Minister Hasina said improving the lifestyle of the people was the prime task of her government.
"The father of the nation is no more with us, but his ideals are. We are trying to materialize and fulfil the vision that he had spelt out in his speech on January 10, 1972, after returning home and the plans he laid out to run the country," she said.
Hasina criticized those who say Ziaur Rahman introduced multiparty democracy in the country, saying the military dictator did a mockery in the name of democracy.
"He [Zia] had tried to confuse the nation. Accepting that, some people appreciated him, but they never think anything deeply for a moment," she said.
Hasina, also the chief of the ruling Awami League, said Zia, in the name of multiparty democracy, had rehabilitated war criminals and given the anti-independence force the chance to join politics and returned voting rights to war criminals.
"This is not the democracy of the people ... this was the renaming of rehabilitating war criminals," the prime minister added.
It is the reason why Bangladesh could not move forward after Bangabandhu’s assassination. The move also destroyed the dignity Bangladesh achieved through the Liberation War.
Describing the significance of Bangabandhu’s Homecoming Day, Hasina said it was the day the people of Bangladesh got back their leader who inspired them to fight for liberation.
"Yahiya Khan hatched all the conspiracies to hang him but was forced to set him free," she said.
After returning home, Bangabandhu revealed his vision to build Bangladesh as per his dream and devoted himself to rebuilding war-ravaged Bangladesh, Hasina said.
Under Bangabandhu's leadership, she said, Bangladesh for the first time achieved a 7.5% growth and the people started dreaming of a bright future.
"But, the anti-liberation forces did not allow this to happen," she said, adding that the anti-liberation forces grabbed state power after killing Bangabandhu who had initiated the trial of many war criminals.
However, Ziaur Rahman freed them after taking over power, she said.
The Prime Minister said military dictators, BNP-Jamaat and their collaborators failed to eliminate poverty and brighten the country's image during their 28 years of rule as they had no belief in the country's independence.