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PM Reiterates Commitment to Fair Elections in Bangladesh

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Election PM

During a civic reception in her honor, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reaffirmed her unwavering commitment to conducting a transparent and equitable election in Bangladesh. Speaking at an event organized by the New York Metropolitan Awami League, she emphasized her determination to ensure that the upcoming election in Bangladesh is free and fair. Sheikh Hasina, who is also the President of the ruling Awami League and attending the 78th UNGA in New York, questioned the intentions of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) regarding the election.

She highlighted concerns about the leadership of the BNP, describing their leader as a fugitive convict, money launderer, arms smuggler, murderer, and perpetrator of the August 21 grenade attack. Sheikh Hasina questioned why the electorate would support a party led by such an individual, noting that the BNP abstained from the 2008 election and boycotted the 2014 election.

Recalling the tragic loss of lives in arson attacks carried out to disrupt previous elections, she condemned the perpetrators as despicable. Sheikh Hasina expressed her unwavering commitment to ensuring free, fair, and impartial elections in Bangladesh, emphasizing that the people would vote properly. She credited the boat, the symbol of the Awami League, with bringing about positive changes in the country and enhancing Bangladesh’s global image.

Sheikh Hasina called on everyone to disregard propaganda and focus on maintaining Bangladesh’s positive image. She noted that during the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat alliance, communication with foreign nations was restricted, but now Bangladesh is respected on the global stage. She urged people not to be swayed by a few individuals who spread false slanders through social media and apps to cover their misdeeds.

The prime minister encouraged the exposure of these slanderers and called for awareness about their true identities, emphasizing the need to unmask those spreading false propaganda. She urged vigilance against this group of individuals.

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Economy

Dhaka, New Delhi Forge Vision for Digital and Green Partnership: PM Sheikh Hasina

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced today (June 22) that Bangladesh and India have agreed on a shared vision for a digital and green partnership aimed at ensuring a sustainable future for both nations.

In a joint statement before the media following her meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, Hasina said, “Both countries endorsed the ‘Vision Statement’ to guide us toward a peaceful and prosperous future. We agreed to have a shared vision for ‘Digital Partnership’ and ‘Green Partnership for a Sustainable Future.'”

The bilateral discussions covered a broad range of topics, including water sharing from common rivers, security, and trade. Hasina emphasized the importance of India as Bangladesh’s major neighbor, trusted friend, and regional partner, highlighting the deep historical ties since Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

“Our relations with India are ever-growing at a fast pace,” Hasina noted. “Today, our two sides had very productive meetings where we discussed politics and security, trade and connectivity, the sharing of water from common rivers, power and energy, and regional and multilateral cooperation, among other issues of mutual interest.”

The Prime Minister added, “We agreed to collaborate with each other for the betterment of our people and countries.” She outlined a future course of action aimed at ensuring a smart Bangladesh by 2041 and a Viksit Bharat (Developed India) by 2047.

Hasina mentioned that several Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were concluded and renewed, with announcements made for future collaboration. She noted that recent years have seen sustained high-level engagements between the two countries, including visits by the Indian president and prime minister to Bangladesh in 2021 to celebrate significant milestones in Bangladesh’s history.

Reflecting on her own diplomatic engagements, Hasina recalled her last bilateral visit to India in September 2022 and her attendance at the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September 2023 as the leader of ‘Guest Country’ Bangladesh. “I am now visiting New Delhi for an unprecedented second time in the same month, June 2024,” she remarked.

Earlier this month, on June 9, Hasina attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his new cabinet alongside other world leaders, further underscoring the close engagement between the two nations.

During her current visit, Hasina will also meet with the Vice President and the President of India. She expressed optimism that these meetings will provide deeper insights into enhancing bilateral cooperation.

“This is my first bilateral visit to any country after Bangladesh’s 12th Parliamentary Elections and the formation of the new government in January 2024,” Hasina noted, thanking the Indian government for their warm hospitality.

In her concluding remarks, Hasina paid homage to the Indian heroes who sacrificed their lives during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971, expressing gratitude for India’s contribution to Bangladesh’s independence. She also extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Bangladesh at his earliest convenience.

 

 

 

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PM Sheikh Hasina Receives Ceremonial Welcome in India

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During her two-day state visit to India, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was warmly received by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a grand ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Upon her arrival at the Presidential Palace around 9:00 am (local time), Prime Minister Hasina was greeted by Modi. A red carpet was rolled out, and a horse-mounted regiment of the President’s Guards escorted her motorcade to the forecourt. The national anthems of Bangladesh and India played as part of the welcome ceremony.

Prime Minister Hasina was honored with a guard of honor by a contingent from the Indian Armed Forces. She inspected the guard and received the salute. Following the inspection, Prime Minister Modi introduced his cabinet members to Hasina, who then introduced her delegation to Modi.

Among the Bangladeshi dignitaries present were Foreign Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud, Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications, and ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu, Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Md Mustafizur Rahman, Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder, Power Division Secretary Md Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Satellite Company Limited Chairman Dr. Shahjahan Mahmood, Principal Staff Officer of Armed Forces Division Lieutenant General Mizanur Rahman Shameem, Railways Secretary Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir, ERD Secretary Md Shariar Kader Siddiky, Press Secretary M Nayeemul Islam Khan, Speech Writer M Nazrul Islam, Awami League Presidium Member Kazi Zafarullah, and other delegation members.

Later, Prime Minister Hasina visited Raj Ghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi by placing a wreath at his Samadhi. Following this, she proceeded to Hyderabad House for a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Modi, which was followed by delegation-level talks.

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National

ACC: Former IGP Benazir Must Appear by June 23

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Benazir

Former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Benazir Ahmed has been given a final deadline of June 23 to appear before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for questioning regarding allegations of amassing illegal wealth, according to ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan. Failure to comply by this date will result in legal action, Khan stated to reporters at the Supreme Court on June 20.

Benazir Ahmed was initially scheduled to appear before the ACC on June 6. However, the deadline was extended to June 23 following a request from his lawyer, who sought an additional 15 days to respond to the summons.

Khurshid Alam emphasized that investigations into the former IGP and his family’s substantial assets, which exceed their known income, are advancing swiftly. Evidence of additional illegal assets has been uncovered, and the ACC intends to petition the court to confiscate these assets soon.

The ACC’s investigation has revealed significant assets in Benazir Ahmed’s name and those of his family members. Amid this probe, Benazir and his family left the country on May 4. Benazir served as IGP from April 2020 to September 2022 and was the Director General of RAB from January 2015 to April 2020. He also held the position of Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) for an extended period.

ACC prosecutors have confirmed that the investigation is ongoing. The court has ordered the seizure of assets discovered so far. Recently, the ACC identified eight more flats in Dhaka linked to Benazir Ahmed and his family: six in Adabor and two commercial spaces in a 14-story building in Badda named Rupayan Limited Square.

In total, 12 flats have been found under Benazir Ahmed’s family’s name, including four previously discovered in Gulshan. Senior Special Judge of Dhaka Metropolitan, Mohammad Assams Zagul Hossain, has ordered the seizure of the eight newly identified flats, approximately 76 bighas (25 acres) of land, and shares in private Citizen Television and Tiger Craft Apparels Limited.

Previously, the court had ordered the seizure of 621 bighas of land in Gopalganj, Madaripur, Cox’s Bazar, and Savar in Dhaka, shares in 19 companies, and four flats in Gulshan. Additionally, the court froze Tk 3 million in savings certificates, 33 bank accounts, and three BO accounts (beneficiary owner’s accounts for share trading). In total, 697 bighas of land have been found in the name of Benazir Ahmed’s family.

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