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PM says she rejected a proposal for setting up an airbase

Staff Reporter:

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said that a foreign country wanted to establish an airbase in Bangladesh and that it is still conspiring against her government after being rejected.

“Next time, they said, no election will be held in the country.” If an election took place, there would be no problem for me to be sworn into power if I allowed a country to set up an airbase inside our country. The proposal came from a ‘white skin’ country,” she said at a meeting of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance on Thursday.

“I replied that I am the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We liberated this country through a war. I do not want to gain power by renting or giving certain parts of my country to anyone. If people in the country want it, I will come to power.”

The premier said: “I am sharing this information to enlighten you. I am fighting this battle wherever I go. At that time, I accepted the challenge. However, the conspiracy is still ongoing. There is a plan to make a Christian state here like East Timur with some parts of Bangladesh’s Chittagong and Myanmar.”

She revealed the plan for a military base in the Bay of Bengal, which is connected to the Indian Ocean. “This area has been famous for trade and business for a long time. The nearby area is devoid of any controversy. Many want an establishment here, but I rejected this proposal. This is my fault. Where do they want to attack by installing an airbase here? I know an attack will be easy by using this place.”

Sheikh Hasina stated: “Due to this circumstance, we frequently encounter challenges, but I choose not to dwell on these issues. My country’s people are my strength; if they are with me, we have no problem so far.

“Those who were against us in 1971 during our Liberation War are still against us, but they are marching forward against all obstacles.”

She added: “Our stand is always against the war, and we do not want war. We are always with the common people of the world.”

Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, which was held for the for the first time since the January 7 election. During the election, independent Awami League candidates defeated most of the 14-party alliance leaders in their respective constituencies, except for Bangladesh Workers Party President Rashed Khan Manon and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader Rezaul Karim Tansen.

Before the election, the Awami League agreed on six seats with the alliance partners and withdrew their party candidates. However, sources said that the election results created a distance between the alliance leaders.

Senior Awami League leader and the coordinator of the alliance, Amir Hossain Amu, General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Workers Party President Manon, General Secretary of Samyabadi Dal Dilip Barua, President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Hasanul Huq Inu, General Secretary of Jasod (Inu) Shirin Akhter, President of Jatiya Party (JP) Anwar Hossain Monju, and Chairman of Tarikat Federation Nazibul Bashar Maizbhandari, among others, were present in the meeting.

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