Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday alleged that Begum Khaleda Zia is not only the leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Part (BNP), rather she has now turned into the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami as well.
“Khaleda Zia is now the leader of both BNP and Jamaat; the leader of BNP-Jamaat declared war against the people to fulfill her vendetta against the people by ruining the economy of the country in the name of agitation programs,” Hasina said.
She made the observation at a function at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the city while inaugurating the month-long Dhaka International Trade Fair (DITF), 2014, the 19th edition of the annual event, with a high hope of fetching significant export orders.
The Prime Minister said that a frontline leader of BNP recently mentioned that they are ‘engaged in a war and it is very normal to have human casualties in any war’.
“The BNP leader wants dead bodies, but for what kind of gain? People will judge that,” she said.
Hasina, also the President of Awami League, said her party was also engaged in political agitation programs in the past. “But we never killed anyone in those agitation programs. Rather we engaged general people in our programs.
“We always wanted to get the support of the mass people. But, this time, we are watching the contrary.”
She added: “From the beginning, the trend of the BNP-led agitation program this time was to kill the ordinary people…BNP-Jamaat terrorists killed people, set fire to properties. Even the vegetable and cow laden trucks did not escape their attacks.”
Admitting that the BNP leader has succeeded in her ‘intention to cause some loss’ for the country, the Prime Minister said that one day the BNP chief will have to answer to the people for what she had done in the name of agitation programs.
She called upon the businessmen of the country to persuade the BNP leader that her ‘destructive politics’ is not bringing anything good for the country.
“They (BNP-Jamaat) tried to spoil the election, but have failed; they tried to oust the government, they also failed… when I invited her for dialogue she replied with an ultimatum,” Hasina said.
Mentioning that the Awami League got the mandate from the people in the last election to rule the country for another term, she expressed the hope that the BNP leader will come to her senses and stop all sorts of destructive activities.
The Prime Minister requested the businessmen to diversify their products for capturing new export markets across the globe leaving aside their dependence on the traditional markets, and also asked them to take steps for expanding their local markets as well.
She asked the factory owners to look after their workers properly and ensured them all out government support in the future.
About the different kinds of government facilities for the wellbeing of the country’s industrial sector, Hasina said more facilities are waiting for them to recoup the losses they sustained in the recent months because of the ‘BNP-Jamaat’s destructive activities’.
“After forming the new government, we will give you some more facilities.” she assured the businessmen.
Commerce Secretary Mahbub Ahmed, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed and Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) Vice Chairman Subhashish Bose also spoke on the occasion.
DITF is jointly organized by Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and the Commerce Ministry, for both local and foreign producers to showcase their products.
Apart from Bangladesh, 12 foreign countries from Asia, North America and Europe will participate in the fair.
The participating countries are China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea, Thailand, the USA, Pakistan, Turkey and Singapore. There will be a separate zone for the foreign participants.
The organizers are expecting nearly 100,000 visitors every day to the mega trade event.
A pavilion, titled ‘Bangabandhu Memorial Pavilion’, has also been set up in the DITF this year for projecting the history of the Liberation War before the young generation.
Earlier, the government deferred the event, originally scheduled to begin on January 1, by 10 days due to volatile political situation during the 10th parliamentary elections.
The deferment came following requests made by the participants. As per the new schedule, the fair will end on February 10.
Khaleda now leader of both BNP & Jamaat: Hasina