Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said she believed that if the Father of the Nation had remained alive after 1975, Bangladesh would have been a developing country within 10 years of its independence.
Addressing a discussion in Dhaka, she said Bangladesh, a war-ravaged country, had been categorized in 1975 as a least developed country (LDC) within three years of independence.
The Awami League arranged the discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre marking the 98th birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Children's Day.
The prime minister said: "Today, we have gotten recognition as a developing country. We have been able to achieve it after 37 years since 1975, though Bangladesh could have achieved it a long ago if that black day, August 15, 1975, had not come in Bangalis' life."
Noting that there had been conspiracy in 1975 to prevent Bangladesh from progressing, she said those who came to power after 1975 had never wanted Bangladesh to be self-reliant economically.
Hasina said they rather had wanted to do everything to make Bangladesh a failed state as they were busy making their own fortune. "Had they had good will, Bangladesh could have developed a long ago."
As a developing country, Bangladesh will not face any difficulty in availing itself of foreign loans for its development work, she said. "We will not face any difficulty in getting loans. However, we will have to give higher interest to some extent and we are able to pay this," she added.
In the past, Bangladesh faced many conditions for obtaining foreign loans for any project as an LDC. "Funds were even stopped over allegations of corruption," said the Awami League chief, adding: "It cannot be done anymore. They cannot dare to do so anymore. Today, we are a developing country."
She said since Bangabadhu’s birth, the nation has achieved independence, become a the state, and earned respect in the international arena.
"Bangladesh is now a developing country. The good news came on the birth anniversary of the Father of Nation. Nothing can be a bigger achievement than this," said Hasina, the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born on March 17 in 1920.
The prime minister said the Independence Day will be celebrated in a new dimension this year as Bangladesh will observe it as a developing country.
Last Thursday, the United Nations declared Bangladesh a developing country as it attained all three graduation criteria for graduation from the LDC group.