PM Hasina leads a “complex, roiling nation”: Washington Post
The Washington Post, the leading US daily newspaper, has highly lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's strong leadership on the world stage alongside Bangladesh's tremendous progress of women, and achievements in education and poverty reduction.
The appreciation came in an article published in the widely circulated newspaper on Monday, written by its columnist Petula Dvorak.
The article was written based on an interview of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina taken by the writer at hotel Ritz-Carlton's ballroom in Northern Virginia recently.
Highlighting success stories of the prime minister, Dvorak wrote, Sheikh Hasina is the longest-serving female head of government in the world.
The article said, the prime minister is leading a nation with more people than Russia and has survived at least 20 assassination attempts including an especially bloody grenade attacks in 2004 thrown into the crowds around her.
Referring to a man named Abdullah Niami, the writer said, he raised his 6-year-old daughter Zoya up high as he wanted her to witness the site of the Bangladeshi PM--a female head of government which America won't see anytime soon.
The article also highlighted that Sheikh Hasina, as the nation's prime minister for four terms (18 years so far) is upholding the legacy of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The article explained that Sheikh Hasina is a leader who leads a complex, roiling nation.
At the UN General Assembly, it said, the prime minister asked for help with more than a million Rohingya refugees who have fled the violence in Myanmar and settled in camps in Bangladesh.
Petula Dvorak quoted Sheikh Hasina as saying that camp life is not good and the Rohingyas want to return to their country.
Her nation's migrant situation cannot be compared with America's, Hasina said, adding that America is a vast country where there are lots of lands, lots of space, opportunities to do work.
Hasina said, Bangladesh ranks No. 8 in the world in population, with more than 171 million people, but its size is just like Wisconsin of the USA.
The article also highly appreciated the Hasina government's zero-tolerance approach to domestic terrorism.
Being a woman, the prime minister said, she understands more intimately the struggle of poverty and education in Bangladesh, the obstacles that most women face, and how their stagnation slows a nation's progress.
In the past decade, her government significantly reduced poverty in the country, expanded educational opportunities and improved housing, she said.
Sheikh Hasina also elaborated that Bangladesh makes housing a human right, even if they are simple structures of brick and corrugated steel roof.
The houses are willed in the name of the man and the woman, she emphasised and said, if the couples split up, the woman keeps the house, and not the man.
The article quoted the World Bank that gives high marks to growth in Bangladesh under Sheikh Hasina's leadership, noting it went from "being one of the poorest nations at birth in 1971" to reaching "lower-middle income status in 2015."
Besides, the article reads, under the leadership of the prime minister, investing in the women of Bangladesh through health care and housing helped elevate the nation.