Sheikh Hasina says Tarique Rahman's support for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's killers proves that BNP founder Gen Ziaur Rahman and his wife Khaleda Zia were involved in the Aug 15 massacre.
"The fact that they were involved in the assassination or the conspiracy to kill Bangabandhu has been proved by Tarique Zia through his support for the killers of 1975," the prime minister said at an event marking the 73rd founding anniversary of the Awami League.
"It was Ziaur Rahman who allowed the killers of Bangabandhu to escape justice by passing the Indemnity Ordinance and then rewarded them with jobs at different embassies."
According to Hasina, BNP Acting Chairman Tarique's use of the phrase 'defeated forces of 1975' in slogans implicates his parents as "agents" of Pakistan, who wanted to subvert the ideals of Bangladesh's independence struggle and erase Bangabandhu's name from history.
"They [BNP] don't believe in the spirit of the Liberation War. They don't like Bangladesh's standing as an independent country. They like to be subjugated," Hasina said.
Hasina also recalled the instability that gripped the country in the wake of Bangabandhu's assassination, after which Zia illegally seized power.
"The practices of enforced disappearances and murders started after Ziaur Rahman became the country's president in 1975. Both Khaleda and Hussain Muhammad Ershad continued the practices mostly against Awami League leaders and activists," the prime minister said.
The Awami League chief also hit back at the BNP's allegations that the government was standing in the way of Tarique's return to the country.
"BNP leaders should not forget that Tarique had signed an agreement with the caretaker government in 2007, declaring his departure from active politics. He was released from jail on this condition and left the country."
"Nobody forced him to leave the country. He left the country willingly and never came back. How can a political leader lead a party if he doesn't have the courage to come back?"