Bangladesh-UK relations needs to be ‘reset’


Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, while addressing a program titled ‘Bangladesh at 50: The Resilient Delta’, at the British Parliament House has called for a ‘reset’ in Bangladesh-UK bilateral relations. Sheikh Hasina said:

“Indeed, it is time for a ‘reset’ in Bangladesh-UK bilateral relations. We need to change the traditional lens we use to view our partnership”.

The Prime Minister also sought an active role of the international community to send back the Rohingyas to their homeland Myanmar in safety and dignity. She also said the role of the UK to this end remains critical.

She said that engagements of the two countries should now be truly strategic, and draw on their cooperation in peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, maritime and aviation security.

Commenting on the role of British-Bangladeshi diaspora, Sheikh Hasina said: “We take pride in our diaspora. I am pleased to see their growing representation at the Westminster – all five of them women at the moment! I am confident that there will be more of them in this great parliament of diversity”.

Referring to Rohingya issue, the Bangladesh Prime Minister said that Britain’s role in finding solution to the crisis remains critical.

While since August 2017, Bangladesh has given stability to the region by containing the crisis, Sheikh Hasina said, “But the security challenges in Cox’s Bazar are getting more and more acute. These challenges can soon spread to the region and beyond”, adding that the international community has a responsibility to make sure that the Rohingyas can soon go back to Myanmar in safety and dignity.

Sheikh Hasina said that she dedicated her life and politics to build a peaceful, just, prosperous, secure and inclusive nation

“Keeping the crisis alive can only be a zero-some game for all concerned”, she opined.

Sheikh Hasina, describing Bangladesh as a land of opportunities and promises at its 50 years if independence said, “It draws strength from its resilient past. It stands ready to seize opportunities in the present. It looks to the future with a mission and a vision”.

She also briefly spelled out Bangladesh’s astonishing achievements and developments in various sectors including economy, infrastructural development, power and energy and digitization stating, country’s economy has been growing at an average rate of over 6 percent, with 8.15 percent in 2018-19 fiscal year.

She said, Bangladesh’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) grew by 243 percent from 2008 to USD 310 billion US dollars in 2021 and the Bangladesh economy is now the world’s 41st largest in nominal GDP.

Sheikh Hasina said that the government has reduced poverty from 31.5 percent to 20.5 percent during the last one decade while life expectancy has reached to 73 years.

Stating that the per capita income has increased three-folds from 2008 to US$ 2,227 this year whereas the foreign currency reserve jumped seven-folds to US$ 48 billion in 2021, Sheikh Hasina said, “Our pledge to build a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ has been a game-changer. Our government provided the backbone, and our people carried it forward”.

Sheikh Hasina said, Bangladesh got qualified to graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDP) status and the country ranks top among those on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

About communal forces’ engagement, the premier said, “The communal forces that were rehabilitated in politics still continue to disrupt our social fabric. Their toxic narratives now pervade the cyberspace. It is an uphill struggle against these forces. But we remain determined and focused”.

She said the culture of impunity had to destroy for ensuring justice for past crimes, including the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib along with most of his family members.

Sheikh Hasina said that she dedicated her life and politics to build a peaceful, just, prosperous, secure and inclusive nation by establishing ‘Sonar Bangla’ as envisioned by the Father of the Nation.

The Prime Minister said, “Bangladesh at 50 is still an unfolding story. The upcoming chapters will be even more exciting. I urge you to stay tuned and join us in the venture”.


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