After securing a record fifth term as Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina on Monday called India a “great friend”, saying the two neighbours had resolved many problems bilaterally.
Addressing the media, Sheikh Hasina said, “India is a great friend of Bangladesh. They supported us in 1971 and also in 1975. They gave shelter to me and my sister and my other family members.”
The 76-year-old leader, the world’s longest serving women head of government, was referring to her period in exile when she stayed in India for six years after the assassination of her father ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and other family members.
“We consider India as our next-door neighbour. We had many problems but we resolved them bilaterally. So, I really appreciate that we have a wonderful relationship with India,” Sheikh Hasina said.
“I have a good relationship with every country because that is our motto,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina secured a landslide in the January 7 general elections, bagging a record fourth straight term, even as the main Opposition party boycotted the polls. The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted the polls after Hasina refused their call to let a neutral caretaker government run the election.
Hasina said the main focus of her government in the next five years would be on economic progress. “With motherly affection, I look after my people who gave me this opportunity. Time and again people have voted for me, and that is why I am here,” she said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Hasina and congratulated her on her victory. “Spoke to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…We are committed to further strengthen our enduring and people-centric partnership with Bangladesh,” PM Modi tweeeted.
With agency inputs
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