UNB, Dhaka : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday underlined the importance of joint efforts and mutual cooperation by the neighbouring countries to curb arms and drug smuggling alongside tackling smuggling of goods, and women and child trafficking. “We’ll have to reduce further arms and drug smuggling for which there is a need for mutual cooperation with the neighbouring countries,” she said. Then Prime Minister said this in her introductory speech at her first meeting after taking office for the third time at the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Bangladesh Secretariat. Hasina said that it is not possible for any single country to combat smuggling, drug smuggling, women and child trafficking, for which there is a need for joint initiatives. She also said that socioeconomic development would surely be ensured if there is a good relationship among the neighbouring countries. State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, PM’s Principal Secretary Abdus Sobhan Shikder, PMO Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad, Home Secretary CQK Mustak Ahmed and the chiefs of various organisations under the Ministry and other high officials of it attended the meeting. Terming poverty the main enemy of this region, the Premier said, “We’ll have to fight against poverty and save people.” Hasina reaffirmed her resolve to take the country ahead with coordinated efforts of all. “Whatever the successes we’ve attained over the last few years, we’ll have to maintain that.” She said Bangladesh now does not lag behind in any fields. “The country is moving ahead and we’ll have to maintain this continuity. There might be various obstacles. We’ve to face many natural disasters for our geographical location. Besides, we had to face various manmade disasters like on May 5 last year, and during the months of October, November and December last year (political unrest).” Hasina went on saying, “I do believe since we have people’s mandate, we’ll be able to turn our country into a prosperous and rich one if we could move keeping our goal unmoved.” Taking a swipe at the BNP-Jamaat for their unbridled corruption, patronising militancy and terrorism during their tenure, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh has now been able to come out from the black list of terrorism, militancy and corruption. “Bangladesh is now a role model of development.” The Prime Minister said the main target of her government is to build the country in light of the spirit of the War of Liberation. “Rising above personal aspirations, we always think how much we could give to the country and its people, how could we brighten the country’s image.” Deploring the August 21 grenade attack, August 17, 2005 serial bomb blasts across the country alongside various bomb and grenade attacks by the BNP-Jamaat during their rule, Hasina said patronising such acts is heinous, “It’s against the security of the country and its people, and I don’t know why they had played such games.” Noting that the Ministry of Home Affairs is very important in running the state, the PM extended her heartfelt thanks to the members of different law enforcement agencies for tackling the mayhem with great patience unleashed by BNP-Jamaat-Shibir men to foil the January 5 national election. Hasina said that some 17 policemen were killed alongside BGB men while performing their duties. Highlighting various successes of her government in various fields, especially in the economic sector, Hasina said that the budget size has been tripled over the last five years and hinted that there will be no slashing in the current fiscal’s budget. “We’ll see how much we could implement as we’ve lost three months-October, November and December — (because of political unrest).” She said that whenever her party assumed office, her government tried to ensure a healthy working environment for all so that everyone could discharge their respective duties properly.