August 12, 2022, 7:59 am

Staff Correspondent

2021-06-11 16:01:45 BdST

Free Hasina Movement: FM recalls difficult days in Boston, NY

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Friday recalled the "very difficult and challenging time" when he had launched a movement in Boston and New York for freeing Sheikh Hasina during the military-backed caretaker government in the country.

"It's a historic day for us. It's a day of much joy for us," he said as the13th anniversary of release of Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from prison was observed on Friday.

On this day in 2008, Sheikh Hasina was released from the special sub-jail set up on the premises of the Jatiya Sangsad Bbaban after remaining confined there for nearly 11 months.

The Awami League president was arrested from her Sudha Sadan residence at Dhanmondi on July 16, 2007 during the military-backed caretaker government, which assumed power in the political changeover of 1/11 in 2007.

Dr Momen said he was an Adviser to Awami League but AL was in a hostile situation in Boston as many were supporting the military government at that time.

"I remember, I used to drive from Boston to New York in every weekend with my children and continue our movement from New York," he said.

The Foreign Minister described how he faced many challenges by the "reformists" who favoured minus-2 formula.

Dr Momen also recalled when Sheikh Hasina visited Boston after getting freed from jail.

"I started calling all in New York. I must say they got inspired. Our group in Boston got larger than that of opposing group. Our intention was to protect Sheikh Hasina in a disciplined way," he said adding that current Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud accompanied Sheikh Hasina.

Dr Momen said Sheikh Hasina has forgiven them who favoured minus-2 formula and they are in good position now.

In April, the government tried to exile Hasina by barring her return from a vacation in the United States.

The Foreign Minister said the military-backed government tried its best so that Sheikh Hasina does not return home before her arrest.

"We told her (when she was going to England from the USA) you are daughter of Bangabandhu. You will surely go to Bangladesh, doesn't matter. Then she went to Bangladesh and faced the challenge," Dr Momen said.

The Awami League-led grand alliance saw a landslide victory with a two-third majority in Parliament in the national election of December 29 in 2008 and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister for the second term.

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