'I know I may have to face death again, but that has never stopped me,' the prime minister said at an event in Ganabhaban on Tuesday
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said she had never thought to step back from serving the people of the country even after receiving several death threats.
Sheikh Hasina was speaking from her official Ganabhaban residence ahead of National Mourning Day on Wednesday, when the country will pause to remember the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of her father, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"I have had to move on with the grief of losing family members,” she said. “It is not easy. I know I may have to face death again, but that has never stopped me."
The premier said although Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971 under the leadership of her father, the defeated forces never sat idle.
“When they saw that Bangladesh was advancing economically, they struck again on August 15, 1975 with their all strength,” she was quoted by UNB as saying.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest child of the father of the nation, said they did not kill only the country's president, but also ruined a family completely. “My 10-year-old brother Russel was also not spared. Their motive was to make sure no one of that bloodline rose (to leadership) again,” she said.
The prime minister said she and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana only escaped the massacre as they were abroad when the murders took place.
She said after spending six years in exile, she returned home in 1981 with a single aim in life: to uplift the nation for which her father died.
“I have to change people's fate anyhow so they can live in peace, happiness and economic solvency,” she said.
“After August 15, 1975, only the fate of a handful of people who were in power illegally changed. The common people were oppressed and deprived of all facilities.”
Sheikh Hasina said her government was taking the necessary steps to develop the country and its people. "And I am getting cooperation from all," she added.
The prime minister was speaking through a video conference for the inauguration ceremonies of separate transport infrastructure projects on Tuesday.
One project will see 23 bridges built on the Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga road (N-4) under South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC), while the other is for the construction of the Fatehpur railway overpass in Feni on Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
“They will enhance the regional connectivity of the country which will ultimately open a new door for the country's socio-economic development,” the premier said.
She also mentioned that the highways the government was constructing would have two types of carriageways – one for the local people and the other for speedy vehicles.
“We are constructing the highways this way to reduce road accidents and to ensure that local people continue their communication without any problem," she added.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed also spoke at the program.