May 26, 2024

DHAKA, Feb 13, 2024 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that the countrymen are now enjoying democracy as Awami League has come to state power for four consecutive terms.

“People are enjoying democracy now,” she said as Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Secretary General Indra Mani Pandey called on her at her office in the Parliament.

Prime Minister’s Deputy Press Secretary KM Shakhwat Moon briefed reporters after the call on.

The premier mentioned since people at grassroots are her strengths, the government always put emphasis on rural development.

To this end, she said that she visited rural areas and encouraged people not to left single inch of arable land out of food production. “I requested all to engage in food production whatever they can,” she added.

She also said that Bangladesh and BIMSTEC will work together.

Mentioning that India is always a friendly country to Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina recalled with gratitude that in 1971 India helped Bangladesh a lot and gave refuge to some one crore people.

The premier said that after assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman she and her sister Sheikh Rehana took refuge in India.

BIMSTEC Secretary General Indra Mani Pandey congratulated Sheikh Hasina on her re-election as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

Expressing satisfaction over the activities of Bangladesh with BIMSTEC, he said the BIMSTEC will continue its excellent relationship with Bangladesh.

He lauded Bangladesh’s development and Prime Minister’s vision towards establishing smart Bangladesh and graduation of Bangladesh as developing country from LDC status.

Sheikh Hasina said that Bangladesh plans to complete construction work of the proposed BIMSTEC Secretariat Building within three years with the objective of inaugurating it by the BIMSTEC Leaders during the 7th Summit to be held in Dhaka.

She mentioned that the areas of cooperation under BIMSTEC has been restructured and brought down to seven sectors of cooperation with a lead country for each sector.

Describing trade, investment and development are most important sectors of BIMSTEC cooperation and Bangladesh is the lead country to this end, she expressed hope that the next BIMSTEC Summit will continue to intensify BIMSTEC activities further when Bangladesh will take the Chairmanship after the next Summit.

The premier also expressed her optimism of taking the BIMSTEC process to a new height as the new SG and Chairmanship would be shared by two very friendly nations – India and Bangladesh – and the Secretariat is hosted in Dhaka.

Sheikh Hasina Reiterated that Bangladesh is ready to assume more responsibilities in BIMSTEC process after the 6th Summit upon assumption of the Chairmanship of the Group.

Prime Minister’s Office Secretary Mohammad Salahuddin was present.

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