Expressing serious anguish and sorrow over the destructive politics of the opposition, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said she wants peace, not the prime ministership.
“I cannot tolerate the sufferings of the people. I want peace and development of the people, not the prime ministership,” she said.
The Prime Minister said BNP and Jamaat cadres are now burning the people to death in the name of hartal. “Believe me, I feel so much pain, when I see the way the people is being burnt by the BNP-Jamaat cadres. It seems at that time I don’t need the prime ministership,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing the national conference of khatibs and best trained imams at Bangabandhu international conference centre here this morning.
State minister for religious affairs Advocate Shahjahan Mia presided over the function, while Religious Affairs Secretary Kazi Habibul Awal gave the address of welcome.
Shamim Mohammad Afzal, Director General of Islamic Foundation, Moulana Md Nizamuddin Nomani, the best trained Imam at the national level, and Moulana Jalaluddin Qauderi, convenor of the National Khatib Conference, also spoke at the function.
The Prime Minister said the BNP and Jamaat cadres are burning the sleeping people to death by pouring petrol and such kind of oppression on people could not be tolerated.
“The BNP-Jamaat cadres laugh seeing the burning people,” she said referring to 15-year-old Monir Hossain who was killed in BNP- Jamaat brutality during recent hartal.
Sheikh Hasina again mentioned that she requested Begum Zia over phone on October 26 to call off hartal. But the opposition leader turned down her (Sheikh Hasina) proposal, she said.
Turning to the war crimes trial issue, the Premier alleged that the BNP-Jamaat-Hefajat have become desperate to thwart the trial of the war criminals.
“This trial should go on for the welfare of the human being. as those war criminals committed genocide, arson, violating our mothers and sisters. Their trial must be held on the soil of Bangladesh,” she asserted.
Terming Islam as a religion of peace, the PM said there is no place for terrorism and militancy in it. Sheikh Hasina called upon the Alem, Ulemas, Khatibs and Imams to beware of those who are out to malign Islam through their ill attempts to turn it into a religion of militancy and unleash atrocities on people.
She also urged the religious leaders to create awareness among the youths and their parents about the destructive impacts of drug addiction.
About the steps the government has taken for the development of Madrasa education, the Prime Minister said there are two types exist in the country’s Madrasa education — one is Alia and another is Quomi.
She said the students who pass from the Alia madrasa are getting scopes of government jobs as Alia education programme is recognised by the government. But, the Quomi students are deprived of the government jobs as there is no government recognition to their certificates.
“That is why we’ve taken initiatives for bringing the Quomi Madrasa education under the government certificates. Some are explaining it in wrong way, ” she said.
“Our aim is so that the students who pass from Quomi madrasa can get jobs in public and private sectors as well as abroad. But, it would not be made mandatory and none will be forced to accept it,” she added.
The Prime Minister said the role of Alem Ulemas in preaching and expansion of Islam is undeniable. They have been performing this responsibility as ‘Waresatul Ambia’ for ages.
“They used to call upon the people in way of ‘Hedayet’ if they see any inconsistency in society. But, the way of this invitation has now become almost confined. Many of them are now playing with the differences between believers and atheists by shifting from the way,” she said.
She said BNP-Jamaat and Hefajat have become desperate together to stop trial of war criminals. “The trial of war criminals was one of our commitments in the election manifesto and we will execute the trial at any cost,” she said.