President M Abdul Hamid on Wednesday felicitated Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina on her 38th "Homecoming Day" and praised her contribution to country's democracy, development and public welfare through epoch-making programmes.
"Country is moving towards tremendous development due to pro-people welfare activities and the far-sighted leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," the President told in a message on the eve of the day, when she (Hasina) returned to her motherland Bangladesh 37 years back, on May 17, 1981, after six years in exile.
President Hamid said it was a milestone to resume the journey of democracy in Bangladesh which smoothed the path to establish spirit of Liberation War, values of Independence and democracy.
The President said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members were assassinated by anti liberation forces on the fateful night of August 15, 1975.
During that period, Bangabandhu's two daughters Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana who were visiting West Germany, escaped but could not return to the country, he mentioned.
Abdul Hamid said they had to spend life in a very adverse situation in exile in London and Delhi for 6 years keeping the grief of losing parents, brothers and other relatives in heart.
The President said Sheikh Hasina was elected president of Bangladesh Awami League unanimously in her absence at the national council of the party on February 14-16 in 1981.
"It was a far-sighted decision of the then Bangladesh Awami League leaders," Abdul Hamid, a veteran politician and parliamentarian, observed.
Recalling her homecoming day on May 17, 1981, President Hamid said thousands of people thronged to the then Dhaka International Airport to welcome Sheikh Hasina amid the inclement weather.
He said Sheikh Hasina, after coming to her motherland, initiated movement to restore democracy in the country and in the process victory of democracy was achieved and autocracy overthrown through mass-movement of 90's.
The President said Bangladesh Awami League achieved landslide victory in the general election on June 12, 1996 and formed the government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
He said during that tenure, Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed to stop the long conflicts between ethnic groups and Bangalees and Ganges Water Sharing Treaty was signed with neighboring India.
Under her (Sheikh Hasina) leadership, 14-party alliance came to power on December 29, 2008 general election and took different initiatives for the welfare of people, he added.
He said verdict of the trial of Bangabandhu assassination case was executed while the country got worldwide appreciations for various reasons including establishing democracy and human rights, development in agriculture, health, women empowerment, electricity, information technology, rural infrastructure and overseas employment.
President Hamid mentioned that the incumbent government led by Sheikh Hasina in the meantime completed execution of the war criminals trial, established legitimate rights in maritime boundary with Myanmar and settlement of longstanding enclave problems with India for the sake of the country and its people.
He highly appreciated the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant project. He described the launching of country's first satellite Bangabandhu-I in the space as milestone progress of the present government.
He said Sheikh Hasina has taken 'Vision 2021' and 'Vision 2041' programmes to turn the country into a happy and prosperous Sonar Bangla.
The President said the programmes undertaken by Sheikh Hasina for development of the country and establishing democracy will remain everlasting in the history of Bangladesh.
President Abdul Hamid wished her and her family members long life, prosperity and continuous success of her government.