[QODLink]
The Frost Interview

Sheikh Hasina: They 'should be punished'

The prime minister of Bangladesh makes the case for her country's controversial war crimes trials.

Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 14:30
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

On this episode of The Frost Interview , Sir David Frost travels to Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, where he interviews the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina - just as he interviewed her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 41 years ago, shortly after he had led the country to independence.

The shadow of the 1971 war between the then West Pakistan and East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and India that led to independence still lingers over the country and its prime minister. "Miles after miles of human habitation were burned and women were raped, children were killed," she says. "Everywhere there were dead bodies. I have seen it in my own eyes."

I was not allowed to go to the school. Because I had to cross the canal by a wooden bridge, she was very much afraid that if I fall from this wooden bridge I will fall in the river

Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh puts the number of Bengalis killed during the nine month long war at three million. It is a contentious figure but when challenged about it, Sheikh Hasina insists it is accurate. "Every family they suffered. It’s absolutely correct, the number declared, it is absolutely correct."

From the village of Tungipara, where she grew up, Sheikh Hasina reflects fondly on her childhood and shares stories of her protective grandmother. "I was not allowed to go to the school. Because I had to cross the canal by a wooden bridge, she was very much afraid that if I fall from this wooden bridge I will fall in the river."

She also shares less pleasant memories and tells Sir David the harrowing story of the night of August 15, 1975, when army officers burst into her family's home and assassinated her father and 17 other members of the family.

"These Bengali people, my father loved them so much. How could they kill him, how could they assassinate him?" she asks.

The war is particularly fresh in the minds of Bangladeshis as a result of war crimes trials that are currently causing controversy in the country.

Sheikh Hasina explains to Sir David why she believes it is important that local collaborators face punishment. From her grandparents' house in Tungipara, she says: "They attacked this house and they burned it. My grandparents were alive. Those who lost their family members, it is their demand that these criminals should be punished."


The Frost Interview can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2000; Saturday: 1200; Sunday: 0100; Monday: 0600.

Click here for more The Frost Interview

497

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
The Khmer Rouge tribunal is set to hear genocide charges for targeting ethnic Vietnamese and Cham Muslims.
'I'm dying anyway, one piece at a time' said Steve Fobister, who suffers from disabilities caused by mercury poisoning.
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
join our mailing list