'There were also some people who were so engrossed after the independence that they didn’t even think how to protect the Father of the Nation, but took advantages of him'
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she still wonders where all the leaders of Awami League had been when Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated and why none of them came forward to play a courageous role against the killing.
"It’s [Awami League] such a big organization… So many leaders! Where had they been? Sometimes I want to know why no-one came forward courageously. The mass people were always with Bangabandhu," she said on Tuesday.
Her remarks came while she was addressing a discussion, organized by Awami League marking the 49th Victory Day, at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka, reports UNB.
Hasina, also the president of the ruling party, wondered why no-one could know about the assassination of Bangabandhu and why no-one took any step against the killing. “That dead body lied on the floor of [Dhanmondi] 32. Why? I didn’t get that answer till today.”
She said the failure to protect Bangabandhu forced the nation to pay for the next decades. “There were repeated coups. There were 18-19 coups in this country after the assassination of the Father of the Nation… The leaders and activists of the party were oppressed and tortured.”
“Had anyone come forward courageously, then these oppressions and tortures might not have taken place, and there would not be so many coups… These repeated coups pushed the country to the verge of destruction,” she added.
After the independence, the prime minister said, Bangladesh got Bangabandhu to build the country, but there were some conspirators who, with Pakistan’s help, tried to make the country a failed one.
“There were also some people who were so engrossed after the independence that they didn’t even think how to protect the Father of the Nation, but took advantages of him,” she said.
As a result, the August 15 of 1975 fell upon the whole nation as an era of darkness, added Hasina, also the eldest daughter of Bangabandhu.
‘Bangladesh ahead of Pakistan’
The prime minister said there were still some people who have affection for Pakistan, and their dream was to make Bangladesh a failed state.
“We liberated our country from Pakistan and Bangladesh will always remain above Pakistan economically, politically, socially, culturally and in all other positive indices.
“The reality today is that we’re ahead of them [Pakistan]. We’re now in a better position from all,” she said, but added that this trend would have to be maintained.
Hasina said the conspiracy by Pakistan’s admirers against Bangladesh will continue, no matter whether they are — abroad or in jail. “We have to thwart that conspiracy and we’ve to take our country forward.”
She also said that the Awami League government always engages in materializing Bangabandhu’s dream and that is to make the country a developed and prosperous one that will be free from hunger and poverty.
The ruling party’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the welcome address at on Tuesday's discussion, which was also addressed, among others, by party leaders Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Matia Chowdhury, Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Prof Marina Jahan Kabita, Humayun Kabir and SM Mannan Kochi.