Corrupt, militants must face trial

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the trial of those involved in corruption, terrorism and militancy must be held as the government wants to build a peaceful environment in the country.

“I want to tell you just one thing that those who will engage in corruption, terrorism and militancy must face trial.”

The PM was speaking at a reception accorded to her by the Italy unit of Awami League at Parco Dei Principi Grand hotel on Tuesday with its President Idris Farazi in the chair.

She said the government wanted to develop the country by changing the people’s fate.

“This will be possible only when we’ll be able to check and eradicate corruption, militancy and nepotism,” the PM said, adding that the prime goal of her government is to develop Bangladesh.

Hasina, also AL president, said she and her party is in power to change the people’s fate, not to indulge in corruption.

“I’m the daughter of the Father of the Nation, and pursue the politics for the welfare of the people. Why should we engage in corruption?” she asked.

About the recent verdict in a corruption case where BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was convicted along with others, Hasina said the case was filed by Khaleda’s “favourite people” — Moeen Uddin, Fakhruddin and Iajuddin. “Awami League didn’t lodge the case.”

She said the BNP was questioning the justification of awarding the punishment just for Tk 2 crore, and some intellectuals were supporting this argument too. She asked if it meant that there should be a ceiling of the amount of money, corruption involving which would be legal.

“Being a former prime minister, Khaleda Zia whitened black money. Where did that money come from, anyway?” she said.

Whenever the BNP comes to power, it turns the country into a “den of corruption”, the premier added.

Hasina said the last caretaker government assumed office and declared emergency following the misdeeds of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

The PM said the court was changed thrice for the BNP leader’s objection and Khaleda filed writs 22/24 times. “When the court punished Khaleda Zia despite her attempts to delay the trial, the BNP is arguing what was the necessity of punishing her for such a small amount of money.”

Hasina said the money embezzled by Khaleda and others was brought for an orphanage. “But it went to their personal funds instead of the orphans.”

Regarding the graft cases filed against her in the past, the premier said the investigation of every case was carried out and its report was submitted.

“I had said investigation would have to be conducted, and the report on every case would have to be submitted … we wanted to see what the merit of the case was,” she said.

Hasina said, “I didn’t withdraw any case and I didn’t allow it … why should I do it? I knew I didn’t commit any graft.”

She pointed out that the corruption allegation was raised by the World Bank over the construction of the Padma bridge, but it was proven in a Canadian court that no corruption took place in the Padma Bridge project.

Hasina also highlighted her government’s achievements in different sectors, including agriculture, education, health, ICT and diplomacy.

Responding to various demands of Bangladeshi expatriates, she recalled their contributions to the country’s economy by sending remittance. “They’re making huge contributions to the country’s growing foreign currency reserve.”

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