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We will act tough against terrorists: Hasina

Sheikh Hasina will not allow anti Indian terror activities on her country’s soil once she takes charge as Prime minister, reports Anirban Choudhury.

world Updated: Dec 31, 2008 21:15 IST
Anirban Choudhury

Sheikh Hasina will not allow anti Indian terror activities on her country’s soil once she takes charge as Prime minister.

Looking resolute and stern, she said: “I want to make this point very clear, no one will be allowed to use this land to carry out terrorism in India”. She proposed to form a Joint Task Force to address the issue of terror.

Hasina was addressing her maiden press conference after winning a massive majority in Bangladesh’s parliamentary election on Monday.

She trounced her rival, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, grabbing 263 seats out of 300 for her grand alliance.

Her remarks came in response to a question about New Delhi’s assertions in the past that the Bangladeshi territory was being used for carrying out terrorist attacks on India.

Home Minister P Chidambaram had stressed in parliament early this month how concerned India was about the unbridled entry of nefarious elements along the India-Bangla route. Indian concern stems from the fact that investigations into several blasts in Indian cities have revealed a Bangla connection, almost as a rule.

She said that the Joint Task Force would look into the allegations and investigate them. It will also find out how arms and ammunitions are crossing over the border. “I want to establish Bangladesh as a peaceful country”, she announced amidst loud cheers from her supporters.

She admitted that terrorism was a big problem in the region and all the countries should work together for peace.

When asked about her closeness to Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and how she could be a crucial factor in easing relations between the two countries, Hasina said that for both India and Pakistan war can not be a priority, instead they should work together to tackle poverty in the region.

Her first task as the prime Minister, she assured, would be to address the issue of price rice that is dogging the vast majority of the poor in Bangladesh. She would be implementing from day one, her ‘Vision 2021’ which is a document of phase wise progress for Bangladesh in the next decades.