Sheikh Hasina replies to the critics of ‘anti-sate pacts’

Staff Correspondent,, Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Photo: Focus Bangla

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Photo: Focus Bangla

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Awami League president did not find any logical reason of the criticism about some of the recently signed pacts and MoUs with India.

She wanted to know why suddenly this hue and cry surfaced. The head of the government has brushed aside the allegation of inking ‘anti state pacts’ She said that the ‘Sheikh Hasina will sell the interest of the country- this can’t be.’

On Wednesday (Oct.9) afternoon after her recent UN and India visit she was addressing a press conference here at Gonobhavan.

Sheikh Hasina said that the Awami League government always protects the country’s interest and said that the amount of water India will get from the Feni river is insignificant and only for the drinking purpose.

She said that if any body wants water for drinking, then how I refuse it.

She said her government has already discussed with India at the Joint River Commission the water sharing of the Monu, Mohuri, Khowai, Gomuti, Dharla and Dudhkumar Rivers and steps are underway in resolving those soon.

“Besides, discussion is on over the water sharing of the Teesta River,” she said.

Mentioning that the source of the River Feni is Khagrachhari and about 94 kilometers of this river are along the border with India, Sheikh Hasina said scarcity of drinking water is acute in Sabroom town of Tripura and the MoU with India was signed to give them 1.82 cusec water.

Taking a swipe at the criticism of BNP leaders over the deal of Feni River, the Awami League President alleged that Ziaur Rahman and Khaleda Zia during their tours to India could not strike any deal over the water sharing of the River Ganges. “Khaleda Zia said she forgot to raise the issue of Ganges water sharing during her visit to India when media asked her after her return,” she said.

The Prime Minister alleged that after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with most of his family members in 1975, the subsequent governments could not resolve ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement issue and failed to gain the vast maritime areas in the sea. “Those who were in power from 1975 to 1996 did not have the courage to raise such issues with India. But, it was Awami League which initiated work again in 1996 to resolve these issues,” she said.

Turning to the recent deal for exporting LPG to India, the Prime Minister said she can never ever compromise on the interest of the country and everyone should know it.

“We always consider our country’s interest first and there is nothing to raise question over this. We import LPG on bulk, then we bottle it and supply throughout the country according to our demand. We’ll export part of the excess LPG to Tripura state of India,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina recalled the role of the government and the people of Tripura during the country’s War of Liberation in 1971 and said a new export item of LPG would be added to our export basket as there would be a value addition after importing LPG on bulk basis.

Criticizing those who are now vocal against the decision to export LPG to India, she said it was BNP which grabbed power in 2001 giving an undertaking of selling gas to India.

“At that time I said I could not sell gas without knowing the real reserve of gas … That’s why I couldn’t assume office through the 2001 election,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina informed that the bilateral relation with India has reached to a special height and we both want to maintain it for the interests of both the countries.

While she was asked regarding banning students’ politics she said that it is duty of the institution of whether they will allow it or no. However, if there is no student politics then how the leadership qualities will grow? In reply to a question of continuing politis in BUET, she said that it is the BUET authority to decide.

Regarding her recent raids against corruption across the country, she said it would continue.

Earlier the press men were served launch on the green lawn of Ganobhavan. The press meet began just at 3-30 P. M.