Sheikh Hasina

Sheikh Hasina Wazed
শেখ হাসিনা ওয়াজেদ
Sheikh Hasina, Honourable Prime Minister of Bangladesh (cropped).jpg
10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Assumed office
6 January 2009
PresidentZillur Rahman (2009–13)
Abdul Hamid (2013–)
Preceded byFakhruddin Ahmed (Acting)
In office
23 June 1996 – 15 July 2001
PresidentAbdur Rahman Biswas
Shahabuddin Ahmed
Preceded byMuhammad Habibur Rahman (Acting)
Succeeded byLatifur Rahman (Acting)
Leader of the Opposition
In office
10 October 2001 – 29 October 2006
Preceded byKhaleda Zia
Succeeded byKhaleda Zia
In office
20 March 1991 – 30 March 1996
Preceded byAbdur Rab
Succeeded byKhaleda Zia
In office
7 May 1986 – 3 March 1988
Preceded byAsaduzzaman Khan (1982)
Succeeded byAbdur Rab
Leader of the Awami League
Assumed office
16 February 1981
Preceded byAbdul Malek Ukil
Personal details
Born (1947-09-28) 28 September 1947 (age 71)
Tungipara, Gopalganj District, East Bengal, Dominion of Pakistan
(now Bangladesh)
Political partyAwami League (1980-Present)
Other political
Grand Alliance (2008–present)
Wazed Miah
(m. 1968; died 2009)
ParentsMujibur Rahman (Father)
Fazilatunnesa Mujib (Mother)
RelativesSee Sheikh-Wazed family
Alma materEden Mohila College
University of Dhaka

Sheikh Hasina Wazed (Bengali: শেখ হাসিনা ওয়াজেদ; English: /ˈʃk həˈsnə/, SHAYK hə-SEE-nə; born 28 September 1947) is the current and 10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in office since January 2009. She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh.

Hasina is the daughter of Bangladesh's first President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Her political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990 and from 1991 to 1995, as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001, and has been leading the Bangladesh Awami League since 1981.[1][2][3][4] In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, violating the key rules of the Constitution.

Hasina is one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 26th on Forbes' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2018.[5] Last year, she was the 30th on the list.[6] Hasina is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an International network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers.[7]

Hasina's second term (2009 to 2014) as Prime Minister is overshadowed by quite a few scandalous incidents. These include: Padma Bridge Scandal, Hallmark-Sonali Bank Scam, Share market Scandal, Rana Plaza collapse, and Bangladesh road safety protests 2018.

For the better part of the last two decades, Hasina's chief rival has been BNP leader Khaleda Zia, and their rivalry is popularly known as the "Battle of Begums".[8][9][10] The two women have alternated as non-interim Prime Ministers since 1991.

Early life[]

Sheikh Hasina was born in Tungipara, East Pakistan on 28 September 1947. She is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, first president of Bangladesh, and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.[11] As she said in many interviews that she had grown up in fear due to her father's political works. During the peak of violence of the 1970 Elections in Pakistan as well as her father's arrest she had lived in refuge with her grandmother. Saying "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".[12] She was active in the student politics of Eden Girl's College, Dhaka[13] Hasina was not in Bangladesh when her father was assassinated on 15 August 1975. She was not allowed to return to the country until after she was elected to lead the Awami League Party in 16 February 1981 and arrived on 17 May 1981.[12] She is the aunt of British MP Tulip Siddiq.[14][15]

Early political career[]

Chairperson of Bangladesh Awami League[]

Movement against General Ershad's presidency[]

While living in self-exile in India after her father and family's assassination in 1975 (only she and a sister survived as they were in West Germany), Hasina was elected President of the Bangladesh Awami League in 1981.[16] The Awami League has been described as a "left-of-center" party.[17]

Hasina was in and out of detention throughout the 1980s. In 1984, Hasina was put under house arrest in February and again in November. In March 1985, she was put under house arrest for three months. Her party, along with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Ziaur Rahman's widow Khaleda Zia, continued to work to restore democratically elected government, which they achieved by the democratic election in 1991, won by the BNP.

Leader of the opposition, 1986–87[]

Hasina and the Awami League participated in the 1986 parliamentary elections held under President Ershad. She served as the leader of the opposition in 1986–1987.[11] Hasina's decision to take part in the election had been criticised by her opponents, since the election was held under the martial law, and the other main opposition group, led by Khaleda Zia, boycotted the poll. However, her supporters maintained that she used the platform effectively to challenge Ershad's rule. Ershad dissolved the parliament in December 1987 when Hasina and her Awami League resigned from the parliament in an attempt to call for a fresh general election to be held under a neutral government. During November and December in 1987, mass uprising happened in Dhaka, several people were killed including Noor Hossain, a Hasina supporter.

1991 election[]

After several years of autocratic rule, widespread protests and strikes created so much unrest that the economy was not functioning. A huge mass protest in December 1990 ousted General Ershad from the power, who resigned in favour of his Vice President Justice Shahabuddin. The caretaker government, headed by Shahabuddin Ahmed, the Chief Justice of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, administered a general election for the parliament. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Khaleda Zia won a general majority, and Hasina's Awami League emerged as the largest opposition party.[18] Among 3 constituencies Hasina fought, she lost in two and won in one. Accepting election defeat, Hasina offered resignation as the party president but stayed on at the request of party leaders.


Politics in Bangladesh took a decisive turn in 1994, after Magura by-elections. This election was held after the death of the MP for that constituency, a member of Hasina's party. The Awami League expected to win back the seat. But the BNP candidate won through rigging and manipulation, as per the neutral observer who came to witness the election.[19]

1996 elections[]

The Awami League, with other opposition parties, demanded that the next general elections be held under a neutral caretaker government, and that provision for caretaker governments to manage elections be incorporated in the constitution. The ruling BNP refused to act on these demands.

Opposition parties launched an unprecedented campaign, calling strikes for weeks on end. The government accused them of destroying the economy while the opposition countered that BNP could solve this problem by acceding to their demands. In late 1995, the MPs of the Awami League and other parties resigned from the parliament. Parliament completed its term and a general election was held on 15 February 1996. The election was boycotted by all major parties except the ruling BNP. Hasina described the election as a farce.

The new parliament, composed mostly of BNP members, amended the constitution to create provisions for a caretaker government (CTG). The next parliamentary elections on 30 June 1996 were held under a neutral caretaker government headed by retired chief Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman.

First term as Prime Minister, 1996–2001[]

Hasina with US President Bill Clinton at the Prime Minister's Office in Dhaka, 2000.

Sheik Hasina Wazed served her first term as prime minister of Bangladesh from 1996-2001. She became the first Bangladeshi Prime Minister since its independence to complete the entire term.[11] She signed the 30 year water sharing treaty of the Ganges with India. Her administration repealed the Indemnity Act, which protected the killers of Sheikh Muijib, her father and the first president of Bangladesh. Her government opened the telecom industry to the private sector which till then was limited to government owned companies. In 1999 the government started the New Industrial Policy (NIP) which aimed to strengthen the private industry and encourage growth.[20]

Bangladesh joined two multilateral bodies, BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) and D-8 (D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation). The NIP allowed foreign companies to open 100 percent owned subsidiaries.[20]

2001 election[]

In the 2001 election, although winning 40% of the popular vote (slightly less than the BNP's 41%), the Awami League won just 62 seats in the Parliament, while the 'Four Party Alliance' led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party won 234 seats, giving them a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Hasina herself ran in three constituencies[citation needed], and was defeated in a constituency in Rangpur, which included her husband's home town, but won in two other seats. Hasina and the Awami League rejected the results, claiming that the election was rigged with the help of the President and the caretaker government. The international community was largely satisfied with the elections, and the 'Four Party Alliance' went on to form the government.

Opposition period, 2001–2008[]

The Awami League MPs were irregular in attending the Parliament during the following period.[citation needed] In late 2003, the Awami League started its first major anti-government movement, culminating in the declaration by party general secretary Abdul Jolil that the government would fall before 30 April 2004. This failed to happen and was seen as a blow to the party and Hasina, who had implicitly supported Jalil.

2004 assassination attempt[]

During her second term as leader of the opposition, political unrest and violence increased. Ahsanullah Master, an MP, was killed in 2004. This was followed by a grenade attack on 21 August on an Awami League gathering in Dhaka, resulting in the death of 24 party supporters, including party women's secretary Ivy Rahman. On October 10, 2018, a special court gave verdict to two cases filed over the incident; the court ruled that it was a well-orchestrated plan, executed through abuse of state power and all the accused, including BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman and former top intelligence officials, were found guilty and handed down various punishments.[21] Shah M S Kibria, Hasina's former finance minister, was also killed that year (2004), in a grenade attack in Sylhet.[22][23]

In June 2005, A.B.M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury, an incumbent of the Awami League, won the important mayoral election in Chittagong, the port city and second-largest city in Bangladesh. This election was seen as a showdown between the opposition and the ruling party.

Caretaker government and military intervention, October 2006–2008[]

The months preceding the planned 22 January 2007 elections were filled with political unrest and controversy. Following the end of Khaleda Zia's government in late October 2006, there were protests and strikes, during which 40 people were killed in the following month, over uncertainty about who would head the caretaker government. The caretaker government had difficulty bringing the all parties to the table. Awami League and its allies protested and alleged that the caretaker government favored the BNP.

The interim period was marked by violence and strikes.[24][25] Presidential Advisor Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury negotiated with Hasina and Khaleda Zia and brought all the parties to the planned 22 January 2007 parliamentary elections. Later Hussain Muhammad Ershad's nomination was cancelled[why?][by whom?]; as a result, the Grand Alliance withdrew its candidates en masse on the last day possible.[26] They demanded to have voters' lists published.

Later in the month, the president Iajuddin Ahmed was compelled to impose a state of emergency and thus Lt General Moeen Uddin Ahmed took over the government.[27] Political activity was prohibited. Fakhruddin Ahmed became the chief advisor with the support of Bangladesh army.[28][29][30]

July 2007 arrest[]

On 16 July 2007, Hasina was arrested by state police at her home and taken before a local court in Dhaka.[31] She was accused of extortion and denied bail, and was held in a building converted into a jail on the premises of the National Parliament. The Awami League said the arrest was politically motivated.[32] On 17 July 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission sent notices to both Hasina and Khaleda Zia, instructing them to provide details of their assets to the Commission within one week.[33] Hasina's son Sajeeb Wazed Joy was out of the country, and said he would try to organise worldwide protest. These arrests of the political leaders were widely seen as a move by the military-backed interim government to force Hasina and Zia out of the country and into political exile.[34][35] United Kingdom MPs condemned the arrest.[36]

On 30 July 2007, the Dhaka High Court suspended Hasina's extortion trial and ordered her release on bail.[37] On 2 September 2007, an additional case was filed against Hasina by the Anti-Corruption Commission regarding the awarding of a contract for the construction of a power plant in 1997, for which she allegedly took a bribe of 30 million takas and kept the contract from going to the lowest bidder. Six others were also accused of involvement.[38][39] A graft case was filed against Zia on the same day.[38] On 13 January 2008, Hasina was indicted on extortion charges by a special court along with two of her relatives, her sister Sheikh Rehana and her cousin Sheikh Selim.[40] On 6 February, the High Court stopped the trial, ruling that she could not be prosecuted under emergency laws for crimes alleged to have been committed prior to the imposition of the state of emergency.[41]

On 11 June 2008, Hasina was released on parole for medical reasons. The next day she flew to the United States to be treated for hearing impairment, eye problems and high blood pressure.[42][43] Prof. Syed Modasser Ali, her personal physician, threatened to sue the caretaker government over negligence regarding Hasina's treatment during her detention.[44] The caretaker government held mayoral elections in which Sheikh Hasina's Awami League won 12 out of 13 mayoral elections. The caretaker government extended her two-month medical parole by one more month.[45]

2008 election and return to power[]

Hasina with David Cameron in London (January 2011)

On 6 November 2008, Hasina returned to Bangladesh to attend the Ninth National Parliamentary Elections 2008 scheduled for 29 December 2008[46] and decided to participate in the parliamentary election under the name of "Grand Alliance" with the Jatiya Party led by Hussain Muhammad Ershad as its main partner. On 11 December 2008, Hasina formally announced her party's election manifesto during a news conference & vowed to build a "Digital Bangladesh" by 2021.[47]

Her Bangladesh Awami League and its Grand Alliance (a total of 14 parties) won the general election held on 29 December 2008 with a two-thirds majority numerically the party controls 230 seats out of 299.[48] But Khaleda Zia leader of BNP-led coalition (4-Party Alliance) rejected the results of the election by questioning the Chief Election Commissioner "for stage-managing the parliamentary election".[49] Finally Hasina was sworn into office as the Prime Minister for the second time on 6 January 2009.

After being Prime Minister, Hasina reneged on her agreement with Jatiya Party to make Hussain Muhammad Ershad as President.[50]

Second term as Prime Minister, 2009–2014[]

Hasina removed many of her party politicians who supported reforms forced by the previous caretaker government.[51] She had to confront a major national crisis in the form of the 2009 Bangladesh Rifles revolt. In 2012, she maintained a hardline stance and refused to allow entry to Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar during the 2012 Rakhine State riots.[52] On 27 June 2013, a case against Hasina and 24 other Bangladeshi ministers and security personnel was lodged at the International Criminal Court.[53] She has been "cred internationally" for the achievement of some of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.[54] In 2012 a coup attempt against her by mid ranking army officers was stopped, with Bangladesh army being tipped off by Indian intelligence agency.[55] During this term, her Government led and succeeded in forming the International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh), to investigate and prosecute suspects for the genocide committed by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, Razakars, Al-Badr and Al-Shams during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.


2014 election[]

Sheikh Hasina with G7 Leaders and Guest Invitees at Shima Kanko Hotel in Japan

Third term as Prime Minister, 2014–present[]

Hasina became the prime minister for the third time after winning the general election in January 2014 which was boycotted by the main opposition BNP led alliance. The election have been called "an electoral farce".[16]

In March 2017, Bangladesh's first two submarines were commissioned.[56] In September, her government gave temporary shelter and aid to Rohingya refugees and urged Myanmar to end violence against Rohingya Muslim.[57]

Hasina supported calls to remove the Statue of Justice in Bangladesh Supreme Court. With some people saying the government was bowing down to the pressure of those who have used religion for political ends.[58]

Hasina is a Patron of Asian University for Women, led by Chancellor, Mrs. Cherie Blair, and including the First Lady of Japan, HE Akie Abe, as well as Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO.[59]


Padma Bridge graft scandal[]

Padma Bridge Scandal is a political incident in Bangladesh that involved the ruling Bangladesh Awami League's government who allegedly sought in exchange for the awarding of the construction contract a large amount money from the Canadian construction company SNC-Lavalin. The allegations were subsequently found to be false and without merit and the Canadian Court subsequently dismissed the case.[60]

As a result of the allegations, The World Bank pulled out of a project to build Bangladesh's largest bridge, citing corruption concerns, cancelling a $1.2bn (£764m) cr for the 6 km-long (four miles) road-rail bridge over the Padma River.[61]

Sheikh Hasina removed the communication minister Syed Abul Hossain from office three months following dismissal of the case.[62]

On 11 July 2012, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said that Awami League government should make the letter sent by the World Bank to be public where the World Bank brought graft charges against Sheikh Hasina and three other figures.[63]

On 16 May 2013, Canadian television channel CBC broadcast an interview with Sheikh Hasina conducted by the CBC correspondent Terence McKenna. In the interview, McKenna pointed out that Sheikh hasina was once accused by ACC of seeking bribes through Sheikh Rehana (her younger sister),[64] and Syed Abul Hossain was playing the role of the cashier of the party.[64][65][66]

On 17 January 2016, Sheikh Hasina demanded that an MD of a bank from the USA provoked the WB to cancel the loan.[67]

On 24 January 2017, in her speech in parliament, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina blamed Muhammad Yunus for the World Bank's pulling out of the project.[68] According to her, Yunus lobbied with the former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to persuade the World Bank to terminate the loan.[69]

On 10 February 2017, an Ontario (Canada) Superior court justice dismissed the bribery-conspiracy case for lack of any proof.[70]

Muhammad Yunus[]

Khaleda Zia[]

Criminal charges[]

In April 2007, Hasina was charged with graft and extortion by military backed government. She was accused of having forced Bangladeshi businessman Tajul Islam Farooq to pay bribes in 1998 before his company could build a power plant. Farooq said that he paid Hasina BDT 30 million (US$441,000, or €383,211) to get his project approved by the government.[71]

On 11 April 2007, the police filed murder charges against Hasina, alleging that she masterminded the killing in October 2006 of four supporters of a rival political party. The four alleged victims were beaten to death during clashes between the Awami League and rival party activists. Deputy police commissioner, Shahidul Haq Bhuiyan, said "detective branch police submitted the charge-sheet of the case to a Dhaka court today after carrying out investigations and taking evidence".[72] Hasina was visiting the United States at the time.[73]

On 18 April 2007, the government barred Hasina from returning, saying that she had made provocative statements and that her return could cause disorder. This was described as a temporary measure. The CTG had also been trying to get Khaleda Zia to leave the country.[74] Hasina vowed to return home, and on 22 April 2007, a warrant was issued for her arrest for murder.[75][76] Describing the case against her as "totally false and fake", Hasina said that she wanted to defend herself against the charges in court. On 23 April 2007, the arrest warrant was suspended,[77] and on 25 April 2007, the ban on Hasina's entry into the country was dropped.[78] After spending 51 days in the United States and the UK, on 7 May 2007 Hasina returned to Dhaka, where she was greeted by a crowd of several thousand. She told reporters that the government should not have delayed her return.[79]

Personal life[]

Hasina married M. A. Wazed Miah in 1968. Her husband died on 9 May 2009.[80] She has one son, Sajeeb Wazed Joy, and one daughter, Saima Wazed Hossain Putul. Joy lives in the United States, and Putul lives in Canada.[81] Putul's father-in-law is Former minister of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment and present minister of LGRD, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.[82] Hasina's only living sibling is Sheikh Rehana who lives in the UK.



  1. সাদা কালো (Black White) [83]
  2. Democracy in Distress Demeaned Humanity[84]
  3. শেখ রাসেল (Sheikh rasel)[85]
  4. আমরা জনগণের কথা বলতে এসেছি (We are here saying for people[86]
  5. আন্তর্জাতিক সম্পর্ক উন্নয়নে শেখ হাসিনা (Developing International relation by Sheikh Hasina)[87]
  6. Living in Tears [88]
  7. রচনাসমগ্র ১ [89]
  8. রচনাসমগ্র ২ [90]
  9. সামরিকতন্ত্র বনাম গণতন্ত্র (Counterfactual versus democracy)[91]
  10. Developoment for the masses [92]
  11. Democracy proverty elimination and peace [93]
  12. বিপন্ন গণতন্ত্র লাঞ্চিত মানবতা (Democracy is at crisis and oppression humanity)[94]
  13. জনগণ এবং গণতন্ত্র (People and democracy)[95]
  14. সহেনা মানবতার অবমাননা (Can't bear the offence of humanism)[96]
  15. ওরা টোকাই কেন (Why they are dumpster diving)[97]
  16. বাংলাদেশে স্বৈরতন্ত্রের জন্ম (Autocracy born in Bangladesh)[98]
  17. বাংলাদেশ জাতীয় সংসদে বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান (Sheikh Mujib is in Parliament) [99]
  18. শেখ মুজিব আমার পিতা (Sheikh Mujib: My father)[100]
  19. সবুজ মাঠ পেরিয়ে (Beyond the green field) [101]
  20. দারিদ্র দূরীকরণে কিছু চিন্তাভাবনা [102]
  21. বিশ্ব প্রামান্য ঐতিহ্যে বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ()[103]
  22. নির্বাচিত ১০০ ভাষণ (Selected 100 speech) [104]
  23. নির্বাচিত প্রবন্ধ (Selected Essay) [105]
  24. The quest for vision 2021- 1st-part[106]
  25. The-quest-for-vision-2021--2nd-part [107]


Hasina: A Daughter's Tale[]

In 2018 Hasina appears on title role in a docudrama Hasina: A Daughter's Tale, directed by Rezaur Rahman Khan Piplu.[134][135]

See also[]


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Further reading[]

External links[]

Political offices
Preceded by
Muhammad Habibur Rahman
Prime Minister of Bangladesh
Succeeded by
Latifur Rahman
Preceded by
Fakhruddin Ahmed
Prime Minister of Bangladesh