Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said that her government could have arrested Khaleda Zia much earlier on political ground for carrying out destructive activities in 2014 and 2015 had it wished.
“We didn’t arrest her on political ground. Had we wanted to do it, we could have done it in 2014 and 2015. But we didn’t do so,” Hasina said while responding to a supplementary question of Nurjahan Begum.“Khaleda Zia is in jail after being convicted by a court on corruption charge,” she said.
The day’s business began at 3:00pm with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, slammed Khaleda Zia for tarnishing the image of the womenfolk through her involvement in corruption.
“A woman means a mother. Being a woman, how does she think of embezzling fund, meant for orphans? The matter becomes a stigma for the womenfolk,” she said
A special Dhaka court awarded five-year imprisonment to Khaleda Zia for embezzling Tk 21 million in foreign donation from Zia Orphanage Trust.
Khaleda’s son Tarique Rahman and four others have been awarded 10-year in jail in the same case.The premier said Khaleda Zia had been languishing in jail as the court awarded her the imprisonment for corruption.
She said they did not file the case, which ran for 10 years.
She said the noted lawyers of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) failed to prove her
“Instead, they knew that she did the crime. That’s why they amended the section 7 of their party constitution to pave the way for becoming a corrupt to hold the top post of the party. This proves that she is an offender,” she said.
The premier said they want continuation of democracy for the sake of the country.
“If democracy prevails, the country marches forward in all indexes. We have proved it. If democratic environment does not prevail, people are deprived and oppressed. It has also been proved,” she said.
Referring to the mayhem unleashed by BNP-Jamaat men, the premier said the BNP-Jamaat alliance government carried out oppression on women after assuming office in 2001.
“A six-year-old girl became a victim of gang rape. There was no corner of the country in where oppression was not carried out. That’s why they did not get vote in 2008 general elections,” she said, adding that they burnt people to death in the name of movement to foil the January 5, 2014 polls.
Responding to another supplementary question of Kazi Firoz Rashid, the premier said her government has more plans to take the country forward in all indexes.
“It is necessary to construct a deep sea port. We will do it and the process has already begun in this regard,” she said.
“As Bangladesh becomes important geopolitically in South Asia, we will construct Asian Highway and Trans Asian Railway Network,” she added.
Hoping Bangladesh’s strong presence in South Asia, she said her government would construct a modern airport.
“Another nuclear power plant will be set up in the country’s southern region. The villages will be turned into cities and they will get all civic amenities,” she said, adding that her government would turn the country into a prosperous and peaceful abode in South Asia.