Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina praises India, highlights New Delhi's role in Liberation War

World Monday 08/January/2024 09:07 AM
Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina praises India, highlights New Delhi's role in Liberation War

Dhaka: , Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her wishes for India and said that Bangladesh is lucky to have a trusted friend like India. She also highlighted India's support during the Liberation War in 1971.

In her message to India, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, ''We are very lucky...India is our trusted friend. During our Liberation War, they supported us...After 1975, when we lost our whole family...they gave us shelter. So our best wishes to the people of India."

PM Hasina recounted the horrors of her family's massacre in 1975, in which her whole family was killed and she lived in exile in India for years. she later returned to Bangladesh and took over the Awami League.

Hasina emphasised the importance of democracy for the development of the country on Sunday and said that her government in past years has established people's democratic rights.

"Our country is sovereign and independent...We have a big population. We have established people's democratic rights...I want to make sure that democracy should continue in this country and without democracy, you can't make any development. As we are a long-term democratic system from 2009 to 2023, that is why Bangladesh made this much of an achievement," she said.

PM Hasina also underscored that her government created an atmosphere where people are able to come out and vote.

She stated, "My heartfelt thanks to the people of Bangladesh. There were many obstacles but the people of our country are very much aware of their voting rights and the need for polls...We were able to create an atmosphere where people were able to come out and vote."

She also accused the Bangladesh opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of inciting violence in the country and said that they are against the development of the people.

She said, "BNP and Jamat did several arsoning and various other violent activities, such as burning train, burning vehicle, stopping people's movement...I would say that they do not believe in democracy, they are not patriots, and they are against the development of the people. Moreover, they don't want democracy to continue."

Nearly 170 million people in Bangladesh will vote to elect 299 lawmakers during the 12th national election amid a boycott by the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, demanding Hasina's resignation.

More than 42,000 polling stations are set for Sunday's elections, where a total of 119.6 million registered voters are eligible to cast their votes, as reported by the country's Election Commission.

Women make up almost half of the nearly 120 million eligible voters, while first-time voters number about 15 million.

Al Jazeera reported that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to win a fourth straight term in the absence of the main Opposition BNP which on Saturday began a 48-hour nationwide strike against the "illegal government" amidst violence and a crackdown on protesters.

The Supreme Court on December 27 provided clearance for the Election Commission (EC) to proceed with the general elections.

The Election Commission has made thorough arrangements for the upcoming 12th national parliamentary election on January 7 to ensure a peaceful process.As many as 127 foreign observers will track the election process to assess the election's fairness.

International election expert teams from the European Union are present in Dhaka, with foreign observers from various countries, including a Commonwealth team, are monitoring the elections. (