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Crackdown on graft, drugs, casinos: PM sets example of courage

Published : Wednesday, 9 October, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 818
Observer special

Actions speak louder than words, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has once again reaffirmed the truth of the English proverb by remaining uncompromising in her new war to free the country out of corruption, drug menace and casino dons. And that's not all, following relentless RAB and police raids on illegally run casinos and gambling dens in Dhaka since 18 September - the PM has come down heavily against the offenders - most of whom are none other than her own party men. She has set a glaring example to curb corruption and criminal activities by remaining politically unbiased.  

In an unprecedented turn of events in the history of the country and also ruling Awami League (AL), she has axed a number of Chhatra league AL's student wing and Jubo League (AL's youth front) leaders in the past three weeks. Her stern actions against her unscrupulous  and corrupt party members clearly prove her sincerity towards her "zero tolerance" policy against corruption and drugs. Most importantly, she has freed the country out of an old and prevailing misperception, that to say, political governments in Bangladesh can not ensure rule of law and fight corruption. She has proved a political government can be a vanguard against crime, graft and drugs, provided it has a positive political will. There is no need for a neutral, caretaker or even a military government to get rid of crime, corruption and violance, as a section of our civil society people often try to preach.

PM's brilliantly timed actions against her immoral and unethical party men came at a time when the entire nation eagerly awaited to witness her political will and commitment. Less than a year in her third consecutive term, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina means business when it comes to execute her political pledges. Even before the axe had come down on Golam Rabbani and  Rezwanul Haque Chowdhury Shovon, the ousted Chatra League President and General Secretary, word had gotten around that PM had her eyes fixed on several Jubo League leaders. With the arrest of  Jubo League leader Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat, the 'Casino King' the list now is only getting longer.

Humorous as it may sound, it is not Samrat and the local casino mafia but since September 18, it is Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has been hitting the 'jackpot' in correctly identifying and punishing the actual goons in guise of AL youth leaders.

An important point here, we expect such crackdown on illegal businesses,  corrupt politicians, persons in administration and law enforcing agencies to continue round the year, not only as occasional events. Expectedly, our law enforcers and courts must become more vigilant and active to curb all types of corruption and crime - with or without PM's direct instructions. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) should also prove its strength against corruption and illegal money.

We thank the Prime Minister for her recent bold and courageous actions taken against her misguided and delinquent party men. She has not only uniquely restored the country's overall law and order situation by her "zero tolerance" stance against terrorism, militancy and violance, but has also stayed true to her often reiterated statement that 'none will be spared'.  And she is sparing none. She reminded and asserted her anti-graft, anti-drug, anti-terrorism and anti-violance drive will continue-without any consideration of "party, opinion, relation and family."

Considering Bangladesh's past political history, this is the first time that a political government has displayed a political will and commitment to free the country out of corruption, drugs, militancy, and terrorism and of course poverty.

The point, however, a criminal is a criminal - irrespective of his, her political identity. That said - setting aside all political and ideological differences, all political parties in the country must acknowledge  and support Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's war waged against corruption and drug menace.

Cutting across party lines, we expect all her political oppositions to forge a national consensus, so to give a boost to her combat to curb corruption drugs and organised crime. It is not the time to politically misinterpret her actions in order to turn them into political issues. It is time to show sincere political will despite all political differences.

Last but never the least, as much as we are appreciating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her government's unwavering drive against corruption and drugs - we do not expect to see misuse and abuse of power by our law enforcers in this regard. We do not want to see pointless harassment of political opponents. And we do not want innocent citizens to become victims of personal vendetta.

That will make this timely bold and essential drive questionable and controversial. We all must respect that a recent survey reveals 97 per cent people welcome this all-out crackdown.

Congratulations once more, Prime Minister. 

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