1116Published on December 28, 2018
Khondkar Saleque Sufi:
Bangladesh is going for its eleventh national election on the basis of adult franchise on 30 December 2018. The election fever has gripped not only Bangladeshis living in Bangladesh but also all Non Resident Bangladeshis (NRB) and Persons Born Of Bangladesh Origin (PBO) living around the world. Participation of all political parties registered with Election Commission is expected making it the most participatory election in recent times. The main contest will be between Bangladesh Awami League led secular pro liberation front and Bangladesh Nationalistic Party led reactionary alliance. Awami League led the liberation war and was in state power from December 16, 1971 till August 15 ,1975 . Then again, in 1996-2001, 2008-2018. BNP formed by military dictator General Ziaur Rahman is a conglomerate of faithful, believers of different ideology has formed election front with opportunists, war criminals and anti liberation forces. BNP led Bangladesh from 1976-1981 and then again from 1991-1996 and 2002-2006. The ensuing election is now a show down between progressive force of pro liberation front and not so clean and fair association of reactionary forces. People have historic opportunity for choosing between white and black, fair and unfair, honest and corrupt persons. There are at least 200 million new voters are educated, fair thinkers. They want progress, prosperity, dignity and graceful living. This write up will underline why people must vote for Boat, the symbol of liberation symbol of progress.
If any sensible person compares performances – achievement and failures of successive government he/she will have no hesitation that Sheikh Hasina led Awami Government must be voted to power again for keeping the momentum of development process going , eradicating terrorism , anarchy , drug abuse , corruption , money laundering . Boat needs to be floating for achieving national vision of developing nation by 2021 and developed nation by 2041. People must not go back to the dark days nightmares of 2001 -2006.
If one looks back in retrospect it would become clear that Bangabandhu and his closest aides were killed by agents of anti liberation forces and enemies of Bangladesh in August 1975 .Bangabandhu led Awami League government struggled all the way over the three and half years rebuilding the country from virtual ruins . Occupation Pakistan army killed 30 million Bangladeshis in 9 months , raped and tortured Bangladeshi women, burnt houses and properties , destroyed all means of communications . The killers murdered Bangladesh and almost his entire family when the country just started finding feet more turning around. He had to rehabilitate 10 million Bangladeshis who took shelter across to India during the war, reconstruct roads , bridges , railway communications, clear Chittagong and Mongla Port , arrange repatriation of stranded Bangladeshis in Pakistan . His government formulated and adopted constitution, started trial of War Criminals.
But his murder led to beneficiaries assemble under opportunist military dictators .self proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu and his top aides in the Central Jail were given indemnity , war criminals were allowed doing politics and freed . Country went back pedaling away from the ideals of the liberation war.
From August 1975 till 1990 Bangladesh became happy hunting ground of corrupt syndicates. Politics became pastime to corrupt syndicate. The country of huge potential drifted towards a failed country.
People revolted again in 1990 re establishing democracy. But with reactionaries and their beneficiaries still active Awami League failed to win general election in 1991. BNP formed the government but carried on the legacy of Military dictators. Food shortage, energy and power crisis created stagnancy in economy. Bangladesh struggled with 6-8 hours load shedding on the average when BNP government was unsteady through another people’s movement. In the general election of 1996 Bangladesh Awami League led grand alliance formed the government.
1996-2001 witnessed massive turning around as Sheikh Hasina led Bangladesh government again achieved milestone successes. The major milestones were
Unfortunately refusal of proposal on US IOC UNOCAL for export of gas from Bibiyana Gas Field to India and conspiracy of some foreign and local syndicate led to Awami League losing general Election of 2001. BNP forming front with Jamat and Anti Liberation forces formed government. Some noted war criminals like Motiur Rahman Nizamee and Ali Ahsan Mujahid were included in the cabinet. Tareq Rahman and his mates forming HAWA Bhaban made Bangladesh a happy hunting ground for corruption, state sponsored terrorism.
Awami League led government of grand alliance winning the election formed government in 2009 and led the country for two consecutive terms till December 2018. Government again had to start from the scratch.
Adopting short, medium and long term planning government successfully confronted power and energy crisis. Power generation installed in 10 years increased from 5500 MW to over 20,000 MW including 1160 MW import and 2800 MW capative generation. Liquid Fuel, LNG and imported power added to fuel mix. Works of many large imported coal and LNG based power plants strated , Works for coal port and LNG terminal started . Works of Nuclear power plant progressed. Government constructed some large fly overs and sky roads easing traffic congestions in Dhaka and Chittagong. Works of Padma Multi Purpose Bridge achieved significant progress with own money defying international and national conspiracy. Dhaka –Chittagong, Dhaka –Mymensingh, Dhaka –Tangail 4 lane highway completed. Works of Elevated Express Highway, Metro Rail in Dhaka progressed. Payera Port started operation, Major upgrading works of Mongla Port and Chittagong Port also completed. Coal Port and Coal import terminal being set up at Matarbari. Large power plants being set up at Matarbari ,Maheshkhali , Pekua , Payera and Rampal. Country on the right track for achieving sustainable energy security. Bangabandhu killers trail completed and some condemned killers executed. War Criminals trial progressed and some convicted criminals got executed. Trial process of 21 Trucks haul deadly weapons and 21 stAusgust carnage progressed and verdicts against some criminals announced. Communicity Clinics , Union Data Centre took services to the door step of villagers. Country again achieved food sufficiency. Actually Bangladesh started exporting food grains, fish, fruits and vegetables. Economy grew steadily at 6.5% plus over the last 10 years. Bangladesh became role model for the developing world .
Bangladesh would celebrate golden jubilee of independence in 2021 and Father of The Nation’s centenary in 2020. Boat and Bangladesh Awami League must spearhead the nation. Bangladesh must not let anti-liberation forces , killers and conspirators corrupt syndicate returning to state power under any means.
The writer is an expert in energy sector infrastructure development, planning, construction management and operation in Central and South Asia and Australia. He has served as an adviser to the petroleum ministry of Afghanistan.