Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday denounce a reported comment by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha as the latter compared Bangladesh with Pakistan referring to recent dismissal of Pakistani Prime Minister by the Supreme Court.
“Everything could be tolerated except comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan, a failed state which we defeated in 19971 liberation war,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a crowd in Dhaka to mark the 13th anniversary of an attack that she escaped narrowly.
The attack on an anti-terrorism rally was carried out on this day in 2004 when Hasina was addressing the gathering at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka. Twenty four people were killed and more than 500 other wounded.
Hasina, during her speech, referred to a number of comments by the chief justice, who scrapped a constitutional amendment that had empowered parliament to remove judges of the Supreme Court for misconduct and inability.
The verdict restored the provision of Supreme Judicial Council adopted in the constitution after assassination of Bangladesh’s independence architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Prime Minister said she has been going through point by point on the verdict and observations to get prepared for discussion on it in parliament.
As discussion on the verdict still dominate the entire political spectrum in Bangladesh, the Chief Justice on Sunday reportedly told Attorney General to behave mature. Sinha referred to the recent order by Pakistani court to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and said none in that country had discussion over the matter.
Referring to the reported comment, Hasina said Pakistan is a failed state and defeated in the 1971 war. Comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan will not be tolerated, she said.
The Prime Minister said that she has been receiving threat from the higher court.
“There would be no benefit in giving me such a threat,” she said seeking peoples’ judgment for the comment over comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan.
Referring to one of the observations on parliament in the 16th amendment verdict, Hasina said the Chief Justice should have quit after writing the verdict as she castigated the electoral college that elect female lawmakers in parliamentary reserve seats and the President of the republic.
“The lawmakers in parliament elect the President and the President appoints the chief justice. The chief justice should have considered that point before undermining parliament, and he should have quit since he did not like that system in democracy,” the prime minister said.
She said if the women lawmakers are not elected then how the President would be elected.
“When you (chief justice) make criticism to this end, then you will have to accept other . . . so you should have stepped down after making such an observation,” she said.
Hasina also issued a strong note of warning over illegal capturing of state power saying that such attempts will be punished in line with the constitutional provisions.
She said usurping power would not be allowed further in Bangladesh and “if anybody tries to do it he or she must face trial according to Article 7 of the constitution”.
The discussion at the Krishibid Institution in Dhaka was attended by cabinet members, Prime Minister’s advisors, senior Awami League and 14-party alliance leaders and family members of those killed in the August 21, 2004 mayhem.
Earlier, the Prime Minister paid homage to the martyrs of the August 21 carnage by placing floral wreaths on a makeshift memorial in front of the Krishibid Institution.
A minute’s silence was observed as a mark of respect to the memories of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other martyrs of the August 15 carnage, the four national leaders and the martyrs of the August 21 massacre.