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None raised caretaker govt issue during US, UK visits: PM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said no one raised the issue of caretaker government during her recent visits to the US and the UK.

“No one talked about caretaker government. There was no talk on the caretaker government system with anyone. No one asked me about it…,” she said while addressing a press conference at her official residence Ganabhaban in the capital on Friday afternoon.

The press conference was convened to brief the media about the outcome of her joining the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York.

The Prime Minister termed the sudden insistence on holding free, fair and impartial elections in Bangladesh as “suspicious.”

“Why does so much insistence on a free, fair and impartial election when Bangladesh is making headway economically staying in discipline,” she asked.

In an oblique reference to BNP, the prime minister asked, “Who is the opposition in parliament? Is it those who doesn’t have a single seat in parliament? Why should those be called opposition party who can’t go to parliament by contesting in an election?”

“Foreigners don’t regard those as the opposition who bark on the street constantly,” she said.

Referring to the BNP’s allegation that the prime minister has returned from America in empty hands, she said she didn’t want to respond to the allegation of BNP. “I just intend to tell the countrymen that all know how the BNP leaders tells lies holding a mike in hands.”

“It’s their habit to tell lies and undermine everything. I hope that the countrymen will remain cautious about it. Whatever they tell is false. Don’t pay any heed to their lies. Don’t believe what they say. It’s my clarion call to the countrymen,” she said.

In face of questions about the country’s foreign exchange reserves, the prime minister said: “If they (civil society members including economists) raise so many questions about foreign exchange reserves, I will shut down everything. I will try to see who takes the responsibility. I have readied everything, now they make tall talks. I have lost all including my parents. I have nothing to lose anymore. I took part in processions when I was 15-16 years old. The father of the nation had a dream. I have made it possible. None remains unfed now.”

During her stay in New York, the prime minister also signed a “UN Agreement on Deep Sea” to prevent extraction of fishes in large scale from the deep sea and protect marine bio-diversity.

Besides, three agreements and MoUs were signed with Hungary, while another document was signed with Kazakhstan on visa exemption for the diplomatic and official passport holders, she said.

During her stay in Washington DC, Hasina said, she held meeting with National Security Adviser of the US President and took part other programmes as well as gave interview with the Voice of America.

In London, Hasina said she held meetings with some dignitaries including a delegation of the All Party Parliamentary Group led by Rushanara Ali, MP, chair of APPG on Bangladesh and Rohingya and the UK shadow minister for investment and small business.