Local Government and Rural Development Minister Md Tajul Islam said calling Ziaur Rahman the proclaimer of Bangladesh's independence is utter foolishness.
While speaking as chief guest at the inaugural function of the newly constructed Mujib Corner at the Public Health Engineering Department building at Kakrail in the capital, the minister also said none other than Bangabandhu can be claimed to be the proclaimer of the country's independence.
"Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was empowered by the people to declare independence. He proclaimed independence and by responding to his call the Bangalees liberated their motherland and established it as a sovereign state on the world map," the Minister continued.
He further added that one cannot become the proclaimer of independence just by making an announcement on radio and television.
"Ziaur Rahman read out the declaration of independence on behalf of Bangabandhu on the radio on 27 March. If he had been the announcer of independence, then 27 March would have been celebrated as Independence Day," Tajul added.
He also said that to distort the history of the War of Liberation, the opponents of independence and the great War of Liberation refer to Ziaur Rahman as the proclaimer of independence. The minister termed this an extreme act of foolishness.
The LGRD minister further said that the foreign heads of states who are visiting or virtually participating in the celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu and the golden jubilee of independence have praised Bangladesh on its development. The foresight and competent leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina helped Bangladesh reach this stage, he added.
Tajul Islam called on everyone to internalise the philosophy of Bangabandhu and work towards the development of the country. The minister also said that Bangabandhu, Bangabandhu's ideology, consciousness, and philosophy must be kept alive among the new generation.
Saifur Rahman, chief engineer of the Department of Public Health Engineering delivered the welcome speech during the event chaired by Helaluddin Ahmed, senior secretary of the Department of Local Government.
The programme was attended by senior officials of the ministry and employees of the Department of Public Health Engineering.