Prime minister and leader of the house Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said that the Awami League was committed to the completion of the unfinished tasks of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘Our only job is to complete the unfinished tasks of Bangabandhu to ensure overall development of the country,’ she said while joining an unscheduled discussion in parliament marking the 71st founding anniversary of the Awami League.
‘It is our commitment to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman that we would always work for the welfare of the people,’ she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the president of AL, simultaneously said, ‘On this day (the day of forming AL), we are taking pledge that we would materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation by making the country a ‘Sonar Bangla’ free from poverty and hunger.’
The prime minister said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was no more within the people of country physically but he was in the mind of all Bangalis as his desire to reach Bangladesh in a dignified position in the world will be fulfilled.
‘We will have to work for fulfilling the aspiration of the Father of the Nation,’ she vowed.
Recalling the contribution and sacrifices of the AL and its leaders for the nation, she said that the Awami League had been working and struggling for the welfare of the people since its formation.
The prime minister said that the day was very important for them as the sun of independence, which was set off through the defeat of the Siraj-ud-Daulah at Palashi Mango Orchard, once again rose by the formation of the Awami League (on June 23 in 1949 at ‘Rose Garden’ on KM Das Lane in Dhaka) as the country’s independence had been achieved under the leadership of the party.
In this context, she said the first independent government was formed on April 10 in 1971 with making Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its maiden president, Syed Nazrul Islam as first vice-president and Tajuddin Ahmed as the first prime minister of the country while the government took oath on April 17 the same year at Mujibnagar in Meherpur, a part of the Palashi Mango Orchard.
She added, ‘The (country’s first independent) government had spearheaded the Liberation War of 1971 and finally brought our victory.’
Mentioning that Awami League’s biggest achievement is to liberate the country, she said, ‘The achievement, that came through sacrifices of AL, is the independence of Bangladesh…today we have got a country of our own, we have got our dignity as a nation…this is our biggest achievement.’
The prime minister said that it was the Awami League which gives something to the people whenever it comes to power, adding, ‘The AL government stands beside the people during the time of their hardship due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.’
She went on saying that the leaders and activists of the Awami League, Chhatra League, Juba League, Swechchhasebak League and its other front and associate bodies had been currently working round the clock to reach the relief materials to every doorstep and joining the funeral (of COVID-19 patients) and thus doing everything.
The prime minister said that her party activists were now being engaged in planting trees on a larger scale as part of her government’s programme of planting trees across the country marking the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Her party had been observing the programmes of planting trees nationwide by its wing Krishok League since 1984 to protect the environment, she added.
The eighth session of the 11th parliament resumed at 11 in the morning with speaker of the house Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
At the outset of her speech, the prime minister said, ‘On this day I recall with profound respect the greatest Bengali of all times, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I remember Awami League’s founding president Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani and general secretary Shamsul Haque. I recall with respect Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.’
The prime minister also recalled the contribution of the Awami League leaders and workers in all the democratic and progressive movements and conveyed her gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives in those struggles and prayed for the salvation of their departed souls.
She however expressed her sadness for not holding the programmes of the AL’s founding anniversary and the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as per the plan due to the coronavisrus outbreak.
‘We have postponed the functions to avoid mass gatherings considering the welfare of the people during the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. The programmes had been observed on a limited scale,’ she said.
The prime minister said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had been assassinated on August 15, 1975 when he took the country on the highway of progress due to the evil design by the new Mir Jafar, Khandker Mustak and Zia.
‘Once upon a time, attempts had been made to erase the name of him. But it had not been possible. It would never be possible to obliterate the truth,’ she said.
In this context, she said that UNESCO had already recognised the historic 7th March Speech of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as part of the world’s documentary heritage, adding that Bangladesh had achieved the victory on December 16, 1971 under the leadership of Mujib.
With an emotion choked voice, the prime minister said that her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had never shared his immense pains and agony that he endured in the jail of Pakistan during his captivity.
The prime minister vowed to accomplish the unfinished tasks of Sheikh Mujib, saying, ‘Our only job is to complete the unfinished tasks of Bangabandhu to ensure overall development of the country.’
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