Prime minister Sheikh Hasina addresses a public rally at Police Lines Ground in Pabna on Saturday. Photo: PIDUrging the countrymen to cast their votes for ‘boat’, the election symbol of Awami League, in the next general election, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said whatever pledges her party and government made will surely be fulfilled.“If you (people) cast your votes for ‘boat’, we’ll get another chance for serving you. Please raise your hands and say that you’ll cast your votes for us. Whatever pledges we’ve given to you, we’ll surely fulfill those … surely Bangladesh will turn into a prosperous and developed country,” she said.The Awami League president was addressing a mammoth public rally at the Pabna police lines ground organized by the district unit of ruling Awami League.Chaired by district AL president and land minster Shamsur Rahman Sherif, the rally was also addressed, among others, by agriculture minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, health minister Mohammed Nasim, AL presidium member M Abdur Razzaque, AL joint general secretaries Dipu Moni and Jahangir Kabir Nanak, and AL central leader SM Kamal Hossain.Referring to the general election to be held this December, the premier said if the countrymen voted AL to power again, they would turn every village of the country into a town.“We’ll ensure urban facilities for each and every community of each village and they’ll live a better life. We’ll turn every village into a town,” she pledged.Mentioning that Bangladesh has become a ‘developing country’ after graduating from the LDC status, the premier said: “We won’t beg from others. By the year 2041, we’ll make Bangladesh a prosperous and developed ‘Sonar Bangladesh’. No one was able to suppress Bengalees in the past and none will be able to do so in future. We’re moving ahead and we’ll continue to move forward,” she said.Referring to the arson attacks and mayhem unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat clique to foil the 5 January polls of 2014, Sheikh Hasina said the BNP-Jamaat hooligans during that time burnt some 3,500 innocent people, set afire some 70 government offices, and burned down 3,500 buses, 29 rail bogies and 6 land offices.“They (BNP-Jamaat) only know how to unleash havoc …. They only mean killing and destruction. Whenever they assumed office, they resorted to killings,” she alleged.The prime minister said on the other hand, AL wants and always works for ensuring development of the people. “We know better how to ensure development of the country and we’re doing that accordingly,” she said.She also said that her party assumed office to change the fate of the common people, not to resort to looting and let its party men make fortune.Turning to the jail-term of BNP chief Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust Case, Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda Zia had been convicted to jail term by the court since she embezzled the fund of the orphanage.Recalling the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with most of his family members on that fateful night on 15 August, the prime minister said her government has been working to turn Bangladesh into a hunger and poverty free ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.Renewing her pledge to free Bangladesh from terrorism, militancy and the clutch of drug, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been continuing drives against terrorism, militancy and drug to free the country from these menaces.In this connection, the prime minister sought cooperation and whole-hearted support from the guardians, teachers, freedom fighters and religious leaders to keep the youth-folk from the evil vices of terrorism, militancy and drug addiction.“Drug addiction destroys a family. Terrorism and militancy not only destroy a family, rather they ruin the whole country … I’ll urge all of you to keep special attention so the youth do not tread the path of terrorism, militancy and drug addiction. We’ll do whatever necessary in this regard,” she added.Listing various achievements in different socio-economic fields over the last nine and a half years of the Awami League government, Sheikh Hasina said her government has been distributing various allowances to different sections of people, providing stipends for students, building houses for the homeless from the Ashrayan project, giving subsidies to farmers through agri-input cards, turning post offices into e-post offices while some 100 special economic zones are being set up to spur economic development.Terming the inaugurations and laying of foundation stones of various development projects at the rally venue as a ‘gift’ from her to the people of Pabna, the prime minister said once the construction of the two units of the Rooppur nuclear power plant is completed, many employment opportunities would be created here.Earlier, the prime minister inaugurated 31 development projects and laid foundation stones of 18 development projects through unveiling plaques from the rally venue.