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PM: Not government, Latif in trouble

  • Published at 08:55 pm October 3rd, 2014

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said it was not the government but Latif Siddique himself was in trouble for his recent anti-Islamic comments.

The premier also said nobody could make an issue out of it as the government had already taken measures against Latif.

“Neither the government nor Awami League nor the country is in danger but the person who made the comment now has put himself in danger. He must pay price for the tirade,” Hasina said.

Hasina, also the Awami League president, came up with the observation in response to a journalist's query during the question-answer session after her press conference on the outcomes of her recent visit to New York.

The press conference was held at 4:50pm at her official residence Ganabhaban.

Coming down heavily upon Latif Siddque she said his comments hurt the religious sentiment of people which was not acceptable to anyone.

"I did not delay a single moment in taking action against minister Latif as soon as I heard about the matter," she said. “The decision will be executed following all the procedures of the government and the party charter.”

The premier said the procedure for his removal from the cabinet has already been initiated and it would be executed after the return of the president and cabinet secretary who are now performing Hajj.

“I will do as I have said. I will not keep him in the cabinet and he will not be there. I have made the file ready and it will be done after the Eid,” he said.

About Latif's ouster from the party she said a discussion is needed in the party’s central working committee to drop him from the party.

Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Latif Siddique made “derogatory remarks” on Hajj and Tablig Jamaat at a view-exchange meeting with expatriates from Tangail in New York on September 28.

The remarks made by Siddique, also presidium member of the Awami League, triggered widespread criticisms both at home and abroad, embarrassing the government.

As for threat from BNP to launch a vigorous anti-government movement the premier hinted that she would handle that with iron hands.

“The government is now experienced and knows well how to face a tough movement. Let them launch a movement and see what action is taken.”

“Countrymen will resist their movement as they (countrymen) have had experience of their murders in the name of movement,” she said.

Rejecting any dialogue with the BNP the prime minister said they are now politically bankrupt.

“Why does the government sit for the talks with those who have killed people and set mosques, holy Quran on fire through mayhem?

“The government is not in a situation that it will sit for the talks with the killers,” she said.

Responding to a query of reporters if UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had requested her again to sit for a dialogue with the BNP she said this time he had not talked about it.

She said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appreciated Bangladesh government’s fight against terrorism.

“Narendra Modi said he was aware of the risk of my life for my anti-terrorism battle,” she added.

The prime minister returned home on Thursday morning from London concluding her ten-day visit to USA and UK.

On September 22, the prime minister went to New York to attend the 69th United Nations General Assembly.