Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that the nation was relieved from its indebtedness to history with the trial of war criminals, the perpetrators of violation of human rights during the 1971 War of Liberation.
"The trial of the war criminals and killers of Bangabandhu has freed the nation from curse and disgrace and helped the country to proceed with new dignity, spirit and determination. The whole world now speaks about Bangladesh," she said.
Sheikh Hasina, also President of the Awami League, said this while addressing a discussion meeting in observance of the 45th Victory Day at Krishibid Institution auditorium with Deputy Leader of the House Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury in the chair.
The Prime Minister said that the people of the country at home and abroad are celebrating this year's Victory Day with new enthusiasm with the spirit against the backdrop of trial of some top war criminals.
Sheikh Hasina said her government wants to bring back Bangladesh to the dignified position that the nation secured in 1971 by wedging bloodiest war of the contemporary history.
"The independence we have achieved at the cost of bloods of millions cannot be a failure," she said.
"The people of the country believe in the ideology of Awami League and the Father of the Nation", Sheikh Hasina urging them to take a vow to uphold the dignity of the nation's flag in the comity of nations and not to allow anyone to dishonor the flag.
Hinting that Khaleda Zia will one day face trial for patronizing war criminals including the executed ones, Prime Minister said there will be no existence of the cohorts of the defeated forces in Bangladesh.
"It hurts us that the cohorts of anti-liberation forces still dream of Pakistan despite living in Bangladesh. They couldn't yet forget their 'Pyare Pakistan'. But, we've to force them to forget it. There'll be no existence of the cohorts of the defeated forces in Bangladesh," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia must take the responsibility of making the war criminals ministers and instigating them to carry out anti-state activities to turn Bangladesh into a failed state.
Pointing out the atrocities of collaborators of Pakistani forces during the War of Liberation, the Prime Minister said the new generation doesn't have any experience of genocide carried out by Pakistani force in 1971, but they could somehow realize the spectrum of their brutality in 2001 when BNP-Jamaat alliance came to power.
"Zia made the first move to reward the collaborators and his wife Khaleda Zia followed the same path. The court has convicted her ministers as the war criminals. So she has to take the responsibility of patronizing the war criminals," she said adding that trial of each and every war criminal would be held and the verdict would be executed.
Sheikh Hasina recalled her memories of coming out of the captivity of Pakistani force one day after the nation's victory saying, "On December 16, 1971 we could hear the 'Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu' slogan from the house at Dhanmondi where we were captive and were still in the line of fire."
"Though we were in an uncertain situation about our lives we also raised slogans. Pakistani force from top of the house fired shots whole night on people killing many of them. "Indian allied force freed me along with my mother, brothers and sister from captivity in the morning on December 17," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh was liberated under the leadership of the Father of the Nation not in a day, but at the cost of huge sacrifice. Bangabandhu has suffered imprisonment for most of his life for the nation's independence.
Millions of people laid their lives and about two lakh mothers and sisters lost their chastity. Bengali people obeyed every order of Bangabandhu to liberate the country from the clutches of the Pakistani rulers, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the whole world stood beside Bangladesh in its fight to liberate the country. American people, except a section in the US government, lent support to us. Grateful Bangladesh showed gratitude to all of them by honouring them with awards, she said.
The Prime Minister reminded the workers and leaders of Awami League that they are fighting for implementing an ideology. So everybody in the Awami League and its associate bodies and those who believe in the spirit of War of Liberation should come together to march forward, she said.
Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed commemorating the four martyred national leaders, martyrs of the Liberation War and that of all democratic movements and the August 15 carnage.
AL Advisory Council member Suranjit Sen Gupta, AL Presidium members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Begum Matia Chowdhury, Disaster Management Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, AL joint general secretaries Mahbub-ul-Alam Hanif and Dr Dipu Moni, AL central committee member Enamul Haque Shamim also spoke at the discussion meeting.