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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bangladesh must go ahead

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Bangladesh is moving forward overcoming all obstacles. It has achieved the millennium development goals (MDGs) and is well on the track to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Bangladesh is one of the five countries which moved from LDC to developing countries and by this time it has achieved an annual GDP growth rate of more than 7 percent and in the last 10 years the country's average GDP growth was more than 6 percent.

In agriculture and industry and infrastructure development, significant progress has been made. There are visible progress in health, education, IT and other sectors. Investment has increased. The rates of child and maternal mortalities have declined and average lifetime has increased to 71 years. Per capita income is now more than 1,700 dollars.

World Bank has praised the development of Bangladesh and mentioned that amongst 134 countries only 15 countries including Bangladesh could achieve an average GDP growth of 6 percent and above. Though World Bank and ADB did not agree with the financing, Bangladesh is building the Padma Bridge by its own financing. Metro rail project is also going on.

Trial of Bangabandhu murder case and trial of jail killing of four national leaders have been completed. Verdict of Bangabandhu murder case is being implemented. Following the verdict of the Supreme Court and by 15th amendment, four principles of liberation war have been reinstated in the Constitution. Though there is dissimilarity, it will be eliminated in the process.

The historic 7 March speech of Bangabandhu has been included in the record of UNESCO as a world documentary heritage and Bangabandhu is recognized as one of the great leaders of the world. Similarly, 21 February is now recognized as an international mother language day. Bengali nation is now in glorious position across the world.

When the AL government came to power in 2009, energy sector was in bad shape. Now sixteen thousand megawatts capacity has been developed thanks to the government's planned development of the sector.

There are achievements in international field as well. Land boundary agreement with India has been implemented and maritime boundaries with India and Myanmar have been settled. The government is facing the Rohingya issue courageously and it is appreciated by the world. By sending Bangabandhu-I satellite Bangladesh has earned world honor.

 There are criticism about irregularities in share market, banking sector and money laundering, though it is not up to expectations but some steps have already been taken in this regard. For institutionalizing democracy some people are telling for discussion between AL and BNP to reduce gap. But it is clear from the above discussion that though BNP got involved in some democratic process but later on didn't follow minimum democratic norms.

Those who are advising AL and BNP keeping them in the same level should remember that in the playground also some rules have to be followed, otherwise, first time by yellow card and then by red card, one has to leave the play ground for blunder.

 In the same way, in the political field, political parties have to follow the democratic norms to continue the process of democracy. If we analyze the situation of USA, UK and France for several hundred years, we see they have followed the democratic norms for strengthening the democratic institutions.

Leaders of political parties of those countries have shown wisdom and farsightedness. Analyzing the situation of India, we find that India has become biggest democratic country in the world due to tolerance, democratic values and wisdom of political leaders and India has achieved a tremendous development in the different sectors. We hope that BNP and its alliance will realize it properly and they have to fight the verdict legally.

 If we could put pressure properly, situation would not be like this. From the above discussion it is evident that to strengthen democratic process and institutionalize democracy political parties should accept history-heritage and values of Liberation War. We hope that country must go ahead under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina. (Concluded)

The writer is an academic and
former ambassador

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