Noting that Khaleda Zia’s tributes at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial is nothing but mockery, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday reasserted that the trial of war criminals will go on and there is no force in this world that can stop it.“If any Bangladeshi wants to stop this trial process, then I’ll urge the people of the country to hate that person, and his or her trial should also be held as a war criminal,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of the ruling Awami League, was addressing a discussion meeting in the city’s Engineers Institution Auditorium marking the Martyred Intellectuals Day. The ruling party organised the discussion meeting.
Hasina said the Pakistani occupation forces alongside their local collaborators, including Razakars, Albadars and AL Shams had tried to make Bangladesh intellectually bankrupt through the December-14 killings in 1971 so that the newly-emerged Bangladesh cannot stand on its own feet as an independent country.
“But, those who had committed such crimes are now undergoing trial and their trial would go on alongside the war crimes trial, there’s no force in the world to stop the trial of the war criminals,” she added.
AL Advisory Council Member Suranjit Sen Gupta, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, AL Presidium Member Sheikh Selim, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Food Minister Qumrul Islam, AL Joint General Secretary Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif, AL Dhaka City unit President MA Aziz, AL leader Akhtaruzzaman, daughter of martyr Dr Alim Chowdhury and Dr Nuzhat Chowdhury, among others, spoke on the occasion.
Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed remembering the martyrs of the December 14, four martyred national leaders, all the martyrs of the Liberation War, martyrs of all the democratic movements of the country and that of the August 15 carnage.
Mentioning that the BNP chief is following the path of her husband Ziaur Rahman, Hasina lambasted Khaleda Zia saying how she could pay tributes to the martyred intellectuals as she had made those ministers who were executed for their crimes against humanity.
“This is nothing but a mockery and deception with the people of Bangladesh ….she (Khaleda) thinks that our people do not understand anything, but they understand everything,” Hasina added.
The Prime Minister said it is the question before the nation what Khaleda now wants. “She (Khaleda) knows it very well to stage dramas. For staging what drama had she been there (Intellectuals Martyred Memorial)?” questioned Hasina.
Before the recent execution of two war criminals, Hasina said Khaleda returned from London in a hurry in a bid to save them through waging a movement. “But, finally the truth triumphed!”
The Prime Minister also took a swipe at those freedom fighters who accompanied Khaleda Zia at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial. “They should be ashamed of themselves! Had they had the minimum shame and hatred, then they would not have accompanied her (Khaleda).”
Hasina said after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with most of his family members in 1975, Bangladesh lost its glory and dignity it had attained through the Liberation War.
But, assuming office by her party after long 21 years, the Prime Minister said, Bangladesh started regaining its lost glory and everyone need to uphold this emblem of dignity.
Alleging that neither the Pakistani occupation forces nor the collaborators could forget their defeats, Hasina said their collaborators want to destroy the spirit of the Liberation War, halt the economic development and force Bangladesh into the chain of slavery again. “Their conspiracy is going on and will go on, but we must move on shattering all the conspiracies.”
Referring to the concerns of many over her life, the Prime Minister said she had to face grenades, bullets time and again. “But, I’m not afraid of death as I’ve nothing to lose …I’ve made my countrymen as my near and dear ones,” she told the meeting.
She mentioned that there were many international pressures, even global stalwarts phoned her to stop the trial of war criminals as well as tried to raise question over the trial process.
Hasina said how some people raise question about the human rights of the killers through making phone calls and if that is the case what about the human rights of the victims.
The Prime Minister said although some considers Ziaur Rahman as the proclaimer of the Liberation War and a freedom fighter, but had Zia been a true freedom fighter he could not have put the war criminals in state power after halting the trial of the war criminals and the anti-liberation forces.
“The way Ziaur Rahman had betrayed with the blood of the millions of martyrs, the same way Khaleda Zia made Nizami and Mujahid ministers…”
Reiterating her vow to make the country free from the curse through holding the trial of the war criminals, Hasina said as long such the curse and stigma would continue to prevail there would be no development and welfare of the country.
Hasina also renewed her resolve not to bow down to anyone and thus turn Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty-free prosperous developed Bangladesh by 2041.