Bangladesh Information Minister Hasan Mahmud on Saturday said his country has left Pakistan far behind in all indices of social, human and economic development.

“This is our quiet revenge for the genocide Pakistan unleashed on us in 1971,” Mahmud said at the Kolkata Press Club while unveiling a book published by the club on the contributions of Calcutta journalists in the Bangladesh liberation war.

He said Bangladesh has the fastest GDP growth in South Asia and one of the fastest in the world while Pakistan is “begging around to save its economy”.

“Jinnah’s two-nation theory has failed and its byproduct Pakistan is struggling to survive. And our Bengali nation sustained by our very rich language and culture has proved Kissinger wrong because he said our country is a bottomless basket and we are now role model for the developing world,” Mahmud said.

He said the Bengalis exploded two-nation theory and proved the bonds of language and culture are far stronger than religion.

Mahmud said Bangladesh’s achievements specially during the last ten years of Awami League rule under PM Sheikh Hasina ‘speaks for itself and needs no drum-beating’.

Bangladesh is quietly developing infrastructure including nuclear power plants for speedy industrialisation instead of going for nuclear weapons like Pakistan which is on the verge of an unprecedented economic crisis to the extent the Prime Minister’s office cannot pay its electricity dues.

The Standard Chartered has recently predicted that Bangladesh will cross India’s per capita income by 2030.

“Imran Khan said before coming to power that he will take Pakistan to the development levels of Sweden, only to be reminded by commentators of his country that first his Naya Pakistan should try catching up with Bangladesh,” said Mahmud.

Mahmud said Hasina has ensured ‘the sacrifice of our people’ and that of her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has not gone in vain.

He said Bangladesh is ever grateful to India for the support in the liberation war and Hasina’s government has addressed India’s security and connectivity concerns with all sincerity.

“We hope our relations will scale new heights and all bilateral problems will be sorted out through dialogue and mutual trust,” he said.

Senior Calcutta-based war correspondents, who covered the upheaval of 1971 liberation war, narrated their heady experiences.

They thanked the Kolkata Press Club for doing the special volume, which is dedicated to two Calcutta-based freelancers Surajit Ghoshal and Deepak Banerjee, who were killed by the Pakistan army after capture inside what was then East Pakistan.

Subir Bhaumik

Subir Bhaumik is a Kolkata-based senior journalist. He can be reached at: sbhaum@gmail.com

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