PM vows to be as tough as needed

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government would be as tough as needed to stamp out the scourge of militancy from the country.

"We will be very tough and do whatever is necessary to eliminate militancy...we must combat the man-made disaster along with natural calamities," she said.

The PM was speaking at a programme organised to exchange Eid greetings with the officials of the Prime Minister's Office and review the projects being implemented under the PMO.

PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting at the PMO.

Hasina said she always relies on the people and is working having their trust in her.

"That's why the spirit of the Liberation War could not be destroyed and the trial of war criminals could not be stopped despite unleashing terrorism and militancy as the people are always against the twin monsters."

She urged the countrymen to keep a constant vigilance to check militancy and terrorism.

"We will have to make people aware of militancy and terrorism and take the country forward by facing these social menaces," she said.

The PM called upon all to form committees at district, upazila and union levels to resist terrorism and militancy. "Sermons against terrorism and militancy will have to be delivered at the mosques regularly."

Referring to the Gulshan café attack, she said such incidents happen even in developed countries as it (terrorism) is now a global problem.

Hasina said these incidents are being perpetrated to tarnish the image of Bangladesh at a time when the country is marching forward in every sector.

Some elements are killing people by shunning the path of Islam. "We did not think that some educated people would be fanatics," she said.

The premier then called upon the teachers and guardians to bring to the notice of the authorities concerned if any student remained missing.

She also said the international community will have to be more vocal against terrorism and militancy.

Later on, she called for finding out the teachers who are patronising militancy in the country.

Taking a swipe at a section of the media for not appreciating the government for its successful commando operation in the Gulshan cafe, the PM said they are rather criticising the government.

She said the commandos from the army, navy and air force personnel, and police, BGB, Rab and other law enforcement agencies promptly launched the operation at Holey Artisan Bakery and rescued 13 people, including foreigners.

She congratulated all concerned for carrying out the operation successfully.

Describing the countrymen as liberal-minded, the premier said the people of all faiths are living in the country in harmony.

"What type of human beings are they?" she said of those who launched the dastardly attacks on the Gulshan café and near the Sholakia Eidgah in

Kishoreganj by skipping Esha, Tarabih and Eid prayers.

Later, Hasina alleged that it was the BNP-Jamaat alliance that had sowed the seeds of terrorism and militancy in the country.

She said the “BNP-Jamaat terrorists” killed 24 Awami League leaders and activists by carrying out a grenade attack on Bangabandhu Avenue several years ago.

"Such brutal attack was made on me though I was a former prime minister and the leader of the opposition," she said.

"They were involved in the killing of SAMS Kibria and Ahsanullah Master as well as synchronised bomb blasts that took place at 500 places across the country during their misrule," she said.

At the programme, the PM also highlighted various government successes in the socioeconomic sector.

She said those achievements have been possible due to the government's policy and determination and asked the officials concerned to complete the work of the projects being implemented under the PMO at a faster pace.

Advisers to the PM, and the principal secretary and senior officials of the PMO were present at the programme.