Prepared to face challenge of Taliban rise in Afghanistan: Hasina

Prepared to face challenge of Taliban rise in Afghanistan: Hasina

Dhaka, Oct 5 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that her country is ready to face the challenges of Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan.

“There is nothing to be worried about Afghanistan. At a time when Taliban was emerging, many have received training from Afghanistan to spread militancy in Bangladesh.

“We are ready to face such challenges. We have to remain vigilant so that change of power in this SAARC country does not affect Bangladesh,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also said the indiscriminate killing of armed forces officers during dictatorship of military ruler and opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)’s founder Ziaur Rahman, should be investigated.

“Nearly 2,000 armed force officers were killed. As the demand for investigation into the killing has been raised, I think a step should be taken in this regard. Public opinion should also be drummed up,” she told reporters at a virtual briefing from her official residence Ganabhaban.

Hasina slammed BNP for its continuous efforts to make elections questionable and controversial as she said top leaders of the party are not be able to contest the polls due to their conviction.

“How a party will win the polls? Where is their leadership? One person is accused of embezzling money meant for orphans while another one is fugitive and sentenced to life term in jail in grenade attack case. Why people will cast votes for the party?” she said.

Hasina, also the President of the ruling Awami League (AL), asked what have people got from the BNP, which had turned the country into “a champion of corruption for five times in a row and a safe heaven for acts of militancy”.

“Who will cast votes for that party? BNP knows it very well that they do not have any possibility of winning the polls. That’s why they are trying to make elections controversial,” she said.

Contending that the BNP has lost confidence in contesting the elections, she said its target is to make the polls questionable or destroy the continuation of democracy.

“Voters cast votes in the polls spontaneously but efforts have been made to make the polls questionable,” she said.

Noting that violent acts, including arson attacks, had been carried out to foil the polls, she said: “But the elections were held. You had experienced development as the atmosphere remained calm after the polls.”

Urging people to make a comparison between the tenure of the BNP and the AL, Sheikh Hasina said the country got recognition of developing country status during the her party’s government.

“It is my dream that no one will remain homeless, live without food, electricity and education,” she said.

Responding to a question on the formation of the next Election Commission, she said the President would form a search committee for the purpose.

The tenure of the incumbent Election Commission, which will oversee the next general polls, will expire in February 2022.

Over the recent e-commerce scams, she warned those involved in making money through cheating of stern action.

“A group of people is taking advantage of people’s tough time to make money. They must be brought to book,” she added.

“We are not sitting idle as culprits have already been arrested. We will find out where they have deposited the money,” she said.

On a question on coronavirus vaccines, she said Bangladesh had the capacity to produce vaccines.

“We have received response from the world community and have taken all sorts of preparations in this regard. Hopefully, we will go for production soon,” she said.

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