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PM Sheikh Hasina says will never bow down to foreign pressure

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said she will never bow down to any foreign pressure as the people are her strength, reiterating to hold the next general election in a free and fair manner.

“You have to keep one thing in mind that there is no such pressure that can pressurize Sheikh Hasina,” she said in reply to the question – whether she is feeling any foreign pressure over the next general election in the context that the BNP has been lobbying foreigners and publication of an advertisement with the statement of 40 global personalities regarding Dr Yunus.

While briefing the media about her recent official visits to Qatar, the Prime Minister said she never bothers any pressure.

She added: “My power is only my people – nothing to happen to us whatever pressure is given by whom. We will do whatever is required for the welfare of the people.”

In this context, she said her government had constructed the Padma Bridge with its own finance, confronting all the hurdles, adding, “I have endured that pressure.”

The premier said they had received numerous phone calls from ambassadors to foreign minister and from different countries to keep a person managing director (MD) of a bank though Bangladesh’s existing laws do not permit a person to stay as MD after 60 years of age.

She questioned why a person wants to stay as MD violating the country’s law and what his benefit is.

“There might be one benefit of staying as MD and that is acquiring a lot of money and laundering that,” she said.

About publishing an advertisement in the Washington Post in favour of Dr Yunus, Sheikh Hasina questioned why an advertisement was published in a foreign newspaper in favour of a person who is famous as well as a Nobel laureate.

The Prime Minister said she could not do anything as the head of the government as there are laws and courts to deal with labour rights and tax evasion.

“If anyone breaches the laws, the court will look into the matter and what can I do as the head of the government?” she added.

She expressed her doubt about the motive of the advertisement published before the next general election.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, MP, Deputy Leader of the House Begum Matia Chowdhury, MP, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi were present on the dais.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the programme.

Earlier on March 8, the Prime returned home from Doha, the capital of Qatar, after attending the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC5: From Potential to Prosperity).