British magazine The Economist
"Asia's Iron Lady Sheikh Hasina"
British magazine The Economist has referred to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as Asia's Iron Lady. Based on an interview with Sheikh Hasina, the media outlet has produced a report comparing her to Margaret Thatcher and Indira Gandhi.
According to the report, Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is the most powerful woman leader in the world. For nearly two decades, she has provided leadership in alleviating poverty for the country's 170 million people. At the age of 75, Sheikh Hasina's political party, the Awami League, won three consecutive elections, surpassing even Indira Gandhi or Margaret Thatcher. It is hoped that she will win the upcoming election next year as well.
In the interview, Sheikh Hasina stated, "I want to develop this country as a hunger-free, poverty-free developed nation."
When asked about corruption, Sheikh Hasina replied, "Perhaps there is a little corruption at the lower level. But now, it is not significant. If anyone dares to engage in such activities, I will take action."
In the interview, Sheikh Hasina mentioned the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as an illegally formed party with a militaristic ruler. She referred to Pakistan's former ally and the country's major Islamic party as war criminals. Sheikh Hasina stated, "We don't consider any party that engages in confrontational politics as a true opposition."
According to The Economist's report, there is very little possibility for the BNP to gain ground even in the upcoming election. Alongside promising free and fair elections, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that only genuine political parties should be allowed to participate. The opposition party lacks these qualities.
The report stated that Bangladesh has benefited from Sheikh Hasina's strong leadership. She has implemented policies, including structured investments, which have propelled the pace of development. It would not have been possible in a weak government.
Regarding the relationship between the United States and China, Sheikh Hasina said, "The relationship between the United States and China is their own matter. Why should I interfere in that?"
When asked about criticism from the United States, Sheikh Hasina responded, "Although we claim to be a democratic country, we do not see the same response from them when it comes to our country. Why don't they support me?"
Sheikh Hasina stated that she does not have any plans to retire in the near future. She accepted that she will not be able to witness the complete implementation of the government's "Vision-2041" plan. Regarding her succession within the party, she said, "If I am not here, I don't know who will come to power."