US tried to stop January 5 election: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the USA had tried its best to stop the January 5 election in Bangladesh, which was inevitable to continue democracy and constitutional rule.

“They (USA) tried their best to make sure that this election (January 5) could not take place,” she said.

PMThe Prime Minister made the observation, responding to a question regarding the recent visit of US assistant secretary of state Nisha Biswal and her comments on Bangladesh, at a press briefing held at her official residence Ganabhaban to inform about her recent Nepal and Malaysia visit.

She went to Nepal on November 25 to attend the 18th SAARC summit and to Malaysia on a bilateral visit.

Hasina said the citizens of the country would have to remember one thing: that is this country is independent and sovereign. “And we want to march forward with dignity.”

In this connection, she criticized the attitude of some people of the country that Bangladesh could not move forward ‘without the US blessings’,

The Prime Minister said: “This is not correct that we’ll live if a particular country remains beside us, and we will die without them, I know very well many of you hold such opinion, but it is not correct.”

She mentioned that during the Liberation War in 1971, the US government was against the independence of Bangladesh and they moved their 7th Fleet towards Bangladesh to help the Pakistani occupation forces.

“But we gained our independence at that time. We can also move forward as the independent country right now.”

Describing America’s move against Bangladesh in the recent times, she said that the World Bank president without taking consent from its Board had cancelled the funding of the Padma Bridge. “We heard that it was done as per the directives of the then US Secretary of State (Hilary Clinton).”

Hasina also said that the Padma Bridge is very much important for the economy of the country.

“It was not the end, there were allegations of corruption against the government and the government took that as a challenge. The World Bank did not find any corruption regarding the Padma Bridge after their hectic attempts to prove that,” she added.

Talking about Bangladesh’s relations with other countries, the Prime Minister said sometimes problems might occur with a particular country. “But that doesn’t mean the diplomatic ties with that country will worsen, or there will be no diplomatic ties, or the diplomatic ties will come to an end. I don’t think so. The diplomatic relations will continue as per diplomatic norms.”

She also mentioned that if any problem rises that might hamper the diplomatic ties, it would be dealt with accordingly.

Hasina said: “But some people say that without good relations with America, Bangladesh will be destroyed. Let me tell them, things are not like that.”

In this connection, she said that the foreign policy of Bangladesh follows the policy that was adopted by the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and that is ‘friendship to all, malice to none’.

“We do not want to consider our policy as just look east, west, north or south. We’ll deepen our relations with that country which will be beneficial for the economic development of Bangladesh.”

She also said that if Bangladesh continues to do well there will be no scarcity of friends.

– UNB.