Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said it is not her policy to divide any party or do anything that leads a party to a split. "To divide a party or to do anything (harmful) to any party isn't my policy. We usually get many proposals...I'm very much rigid about it," she said while responding to a question at a press conference at her official residence Ganabhaban. The press conference was convened to brief the media about the outcomes of the official visit of the Prime Minister to Brunei from April 21 to 23 last.
Sheikh Hasina said those who formed parties under the purview of agencies they know their path very well. "They sought their shelter there...it"s not a matter to divide a party... why should we go for that? " she questioned. Hasina, also the chief of the ruling party, firmly said Awami League has enough manpower and followers, and it does not need any more from other parties.
"AL itself is enough to ensure the welfare of people," she said.
The Prime Minister said every party has its own characteristics and they are very much independent to take any decision regarding their own party as the country has multiparty democratic system.
"BNP is a political party; whatever it does it is its own political decision. Any other party cannot impose their decisions on them," she said.
Regarding the oath-taking move by a BNP MP defying the party decision, Hasina said there is no pressure from the government on the elected MPs to take oath.
"Why should we put pressure on them... they"ve already said the people of their own constituencies are mounting pressure on them... they took the oath on their own," she said.
Hasina mentioned that the BNP MP after taking their oath said he would speak for their own party in Parliament.
Responding to a question about the much-talked-about parole of Khaleda Zia, the Prime Minister said for availing of parole one has to apply first. "So far, no one has applied for that," she added.
Talking about Nusrat Jahan Rafi issue, the Prime Minister made it clear that the government would not spare anyone who has involvement in this issue. "We"ll spare no one, no matter which party he or she belongs to. We"ll surely take punitive actions and we"re taking that."
She said such unjust act cannot be accepted. "Whoever did this, we"ll take steps. I don"t want the culprits to belong to my party or any other party."
Replying to a question on shifting Rohingya refugees to Bhashan Char Island, Hasina said although the Rohingyas wanted to go there, there are many in many agencies who do not want to shift the refugees to the island.
"Because, the people of those
agencies and NGOs come here for volunteering. As per my perception, the problem lies there. Let me tell you something openly, it"s very much easy to go to Cox"s Bazar, it has beautiful places to stay there. They come to serve on humanitarian ground, but they take care of their own purposes in greater way,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that the people from the agencies and NGOs are putting up their objections on this ground. “Otherwise, I don"t see any other problem.” In this connection, the Prime Minister said the government prepared the Bhashanchar Island to give shelter to 100,000 Rohingyas with better facilities with the scope of earning their livelihoods. The Prime Minister again expressed her apprehension about diverting the unemployed Rohingya youths to militancy. She said there is always a scope to be worried about the rise in terrorism and militancy in the country.
“But, we"re always alert enough, our intelligence agencies are working beautifully, even I held a meeting with the heads of all agencies and forces yesterday night,” Hasina said.
She said the government is taking appropriate and effective steps round the clock. Hasina also put emphasis on finding out the roots of these terrorism and militancy across the globe.
She said the minorities are living in great peace though 90 percent population of the country is Muslim. “Even religious festivals in the country are celebrated by the people of all religious and that"s the unique character of Bangladesh.”
She said the people of all religions celebrate Pahela Boishakh together. “We"ve been able to maintain our communal harmony in the country and this has to be maintained.”
Replying to a question, Hasina said she does not see any intruder and opportunist in Awami League. The Prime Minister also said she has to go on retirement. “The leadership will be decided by the party, I"m not the one to decide that. AL as a political party will choose its leader, or the people will choose their leader. How could I say who will be the leader? We"ll definitely not do that.”
In this connection, Hasina mentioned that she never thought about being the president of AL, but it was the party which made her its president.