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Bangladesh’s’ PM praised by British MPs

15Ansar Ahmed Ullah

Bangladesh’s’ Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was praised for development during meeting with new British MPs. Newly elected MPs to the UK parliament met Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday, 15 June, at the Westminster at a reception hosted by Keith Vaz MP.

Some thirty MPs including Bengali members Rushanara Ali MP, Tulip Siddiq MP and Rupa Huq MP were present. Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow greeted the prime minister as she alighted from the car carrying her accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, MP, Media Advisor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Press Secretary to the PM Shamim Chowdhuri and other members of her delegation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told the British lawmakers that her vision is to make a Bangladesh a poverty-free country, where the key factors would be democracy and secularism. She said Bangladesh was following West Minister style democracy and had been working hard to strengthen all democratic institutions. On secularism, the premier said people of all religious faiths had freedom to practice their faith and that was enshrined in the constitution of the country.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recollected with gratitude the British help for Bangladesh during its tumultuous birth and also in her fight to establish democracy in Bangladesh. She recollected how the British MPs stood by her during the 2007-2008 tenure of a caretaker government which had refused to let her enter Bangladesh. But with the international and local pressure she could return home and forced the government to hold parliamentary elections.

In his welcome address, Keith Vaz MP praised the prime minister for her courageous work to establish a strong Bangladesh and that it was a great honour to have her at the programme. He said the premier was definitely a proud woman who has herself stood out setting many examples for others.

Tulip Siddiq, MP, the new Labour MP and niece of the premier, said she had had many lessons from her auntie Sheikh Hasina and that helped her to be successful in the last polls.
Prime Minister’s IT advisor Sajeeb Wajed Joy, who was specially invited to speak at the event, said Bangladesh has made great strides  in the IT sector with villages now connected with internet. This was due to the “Digital Bangladesh” vision of the prime minister. Anne Maine MP also spoke about the age-old friendship between Bangladesh and Britain.