On the eve of our great Independence and National Day 2016, I extend my heartfelt greetings and warm felicitations to my fellow countrymen living at home and abroad.
The great Independence Day is a glorious one in our national life. On this historic day, I recall with profound respect Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who proclaimed country’s independence on March 26, 1971 after inspiring the whole nation with Bangalee nationalism and preparing them for independence for over two decades. Under his charismatic leadership, we achieved our much awaited independence through a nine-month long armed struggle. I pay my deep gratitude to the heroic martyrs who made supreme sacrifices in the war of liberation. I also recall with deep reverence our four National Leaders, valiant freedom-fighters, organizers, supporters and people from all walks of life for their unmatched contributions and courageous role that accelerated the process of our victory.
One of the prime objectives of our hard-earned independence was to build a happy and prosperous Bangladesh. Keeping that in mind, the Government has been making untiring efforts in materializing the objectives of independence. In the meantime, we have achieved notable progress in every sphere of our national life. Country has attained food-sufficiency due to huge development in agriculture. Food grains are being exported in a small scale. Empowerment of women is continuing. Maternal and child mortality rate has been reduced and life expectancy rate has simultaneously been raised. The mega project of constructing of the Padma Bridge is underway by our own fund. At the same time we have also attained remarkable development in private sector. Country’s financial sector along with Banks and Insurances has been expanded. Bangladesh is now being branded as a role model of development throughout the world.
Our achievement in international arena is also commendable. The longstanding land and maritime boundary dispute with India and Myanmar has been resolved for our successful foreign policy based on "Friendship to all and malice towards none". The mutual relations with the friendly countries around the globe have been expanded and strengthened. The contribution of Bangladesh in mitigating the negative impact of global climate change along with protecting environment is being acclaimed by the world community. Bangladeshi Peacekeepers, under the auspices of the United Nations, have upheld the country’s image abroad presenting their professionalism and competence. Our expatriate Bangladeshis have also been making significant contributions to our national economy through sending their hard-earned remittances. Nevertheless, we have to go a long way for achieving the desired goals of independence. I believe that sincere and concerted efforts from all strata irrespective of party affiliation are imperative to reach the goals.
Communal harmony is our tradition. The people of our country do not support violence including militancy and terrorism. They always uphold peace and believe in coexistence. Exercising democratic norms and values, maintaining tolerance and fortitude and showing mutual respect are the preconditions for flourishing democracy. Therefore, we have to maintain patience, self-restraint, and forbearance along with showing respect to others’ opinion in a democratic pluralism. We have to arouse our indomitable spirit of war of liberation and non-communal values. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman cherished a dream of transforming Bangladesh into `Sonar Bangla\'. The present Government has set ‘Vision 2021\' and `Vision 2041\' to make Bangladesh into a middle-income and a developed country respectively.
On this historic day of independence, I urge all to take united efforts to accelerate overall development and democratic advancement of the country.
Khoda Hafez, May Bangladesh Live Forever.