By Sharif Shahabuddin
It is a dedication. It is a total dedication towards the nation and its people. Not caring for her personal comfort, she is working day and night. She is thinking very high and working very hard with a view to achieving her set target – the real economic emancipation and social development of the nation. She dreams of how to improve the quality of life of the people with the resources she has at her disposal.
In her forward march she is facing untold barriers created by some vested quarters, who have always been finding faults with her. breaking down all odds and obstacles set before her by the anti-liberation and anti-social forces, Sheikh Hasina, the architect of modern Bangladesh, is moving ahead with her mission and vision of turning this country into her father’s cherished Golden Bengal. In a bid to making Bangladesh economically prosperous, socially developed and technologically advanced, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has undertaken a massive development programme for the well-being of the mass people, who had long remained under-privileged. The government under Sheikh Hasina has short, medium and long term programme aimed at achieving the expected goals. Unprecedented growth of energy and infrastructure in the recent past is quite visible and a confidence building initiative.
Because of her dynamic leadership Bangladesh has been developing rapidly in all major economic, social and human development indicators. As a result, Bangladesh is being termed a ‘development role model’ for all developing nations. The world is also noticing Bangladesh’s progress and the leadership behind such successes. As a statesman, Sheikh Hasina left her mark on the international scene during her first tenure as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh between 1996 and 2001. Since being elected the head of government in 2009, she has caught the attention of major world leaders and international organizations with her pragmatic policies and programmes at home and regional and international stages.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has been able to touch major diplomatic and international milestones for the country. Some of these achievements include:
Ganges Water Sharing Treaty on December 12, 1996 in the Indian capital of New Delhi. A comprehensive bilateral treaty was signed by the then Indian Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina regarding the sharing of Ganges River water. The treaty established a 30-year water-sharing arrangement and recognized Bangladesh’s rights as a lower-level riparian. This was a successful bilateral diplomatic move as the issue had remained pending since 1982 for almost 14 years.
Land Boundary Agreement with India, a longstanding border issue in the world was brought to a successful resolution in 2015 through the signing and implementation of the ‘Land Boundary Agreement’ (LBA) between Bangladesh and India. The most important thing to be taken into consideration here is that all the lawmakers in both the houses of India overwhelmingly voted to pass that land mark bill. That not a single vote was cast against the bill was an unprecedented diplomatic success of Sheikh Hasina. The victory of Maritime Boundary case in the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2015, Bangladesh settled its longstanding maritime boundary dispute with India, and in the process secured 19,467 square kilometers out of 25,602 sq km disputed area in the Bay of Bengal. In 2012, Bangladesh successfully argued its case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany, which gave its judgment on the maritime boundary dispute between Bangladesh and Myanmar. As a result, Bangladesh received an additional 111,000 square kilometers of new marine area. This successful strategy of using international institutions for resolving bilateral disputes was the brainchild of Sheikh Hasina.
Recent launching of Bangabandhu Satellite was a major breakthrough in the field of making digital Bangladesh programme a success. And it was announced that the Bangabandhu Sattlite-2 would be launched after the completion of the Bangabandhu Sattlite-1
It is a forward march of a nation which has lost a vast amount of opportunity in the past. The people of Bangladesh have started believing that with a competent leadership they can go miles to achieve a new and better life where there would be no want, social unrest and anxiety. They now believe that they will be enjoying a happy and prosperous life under their beloved leader Sheikh Hasina.