So Much Division When So Much is Common
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina expressed her expectations about taking the relationship between Bangladesh and India to a new height. She said it needs a resolution of disputes over sharing the waters of common rivers. In an article published in the daily Anandabazar in West Bengal, Hasina wrote that if the goals are noble then their outcomes can be beneficial. The article was published on the day she arrived in India on a four-day visit. It also appeared in the English daily, The Hindu. The prime minister further wrote in her essay that Lalon, Rabindranath, Kazi Nazrul and Jibonando Das are common to both sides. Both sides speak the same language, Bangla. Both countries get the waters of the same Padma, Brahmaputra, and Teesta. She added that both countries are proud of the Sundarbans, and there is no dispute over it. Hasina then asked why the two countries could not agree to share the water of a single river.
People See Twists Even in the Good Deeds of the Government
BNP standing committee member Goyeshwar Chandra Roy claimed the people have completely lost their faith in the deeds and words of the government. He said people are so suspicious they look for twists even when the government does something good. Roy was speaking at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity on April 1 when he added that he could not think of a country that wanted to attack Bangladesh and neither did he see any possibility of a war with India. He then asked why it was necessary to sign a defense treaty with India.
BNP Leaders Suffer from Depression
Health minister Mohammad Nasim argued that BNP leaders have been critical of the prime minister’s India visit because they suffer from depression. He was speaking at a function on World Health Day on April 7 at Osmani Auditorium, when he accused BNP leaders of conspiring to prevent development activities in the country. He suggested that BNP leaders should undergo treatment for depression and frustration. The spokesperson for the 14-party alliance further said that these opposition leaders always suffer from depression.
The Government Has Betrayed the People and the Country
BNP’s senior joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed complained the government has betrayed the people and the country by signing two defense MoUs with India. The BNP leader said he saw it as part of a sinister plan. He called for an urgent press briefing on April 8 and told journalists that 22 agreements and 4 MoUs were signed with India, which included 2 defense MoUs. Ahmed also said the prime minister has proven the concerns BNP has expressed all along. But it was his party’s optimistic hope that the prime minister would not do it at the last moment considering the sentiments of the people. But she dashed the hopes of the people by signing those agreements, ignoring the sobbing hearts of her people.
Why a Defense Pact if The Relationship is So Good!
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir questioned that if Bangladesh-India relations have indeed reached greater heights as the government claims, then why is there this need for signing a defense pact between the two countries. He said neither the defense pact nor the defense MoU will be accepted by the people. He said this while responding to questions from journalists after laying wreaths at the mausoleum of Ziaur Rahman on April 7. He asserted that the people of Bangladesh will never accept a treaty or understanding with India that will undermine the sovereignty of their country.
Hasina Selling Out the Country to Fulfill Her Dream for Power
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has said that prime minister Sheikh Hasina is selling out the country so that she can cling to power for life. She was speaking at a function held at her Gulshan office on April 8 when she accused Hasina of saving nothing but selling everything in the country. Khaleda also added that the prime minister will sell whatever is left during her recent visit to India. She warned the prime minister that nobody is known to have escaped the wrath of history after disposing of one's own country. She further said that Hasina does not know that when the people rise, those to whom she is selling the country will not come to her rescue. It is only a matter of time, she said.
Right to Know About Agreements or MoUs
BNP leader Moudud Ahmed has demanded that the agreements and MoUs signed with India must be made public for the information of the people. He said the people have the right to know if these documents include anything that hurts the interests of their country. Ahmed was speaking at a meeting at the National Press Club while prime minister Sheikh Hasina was holding a meeting with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi at Hyderabad House on April 8. He emphasized that it would not be appropriate to keep the contents of these agreements secret from the 160 million people of this country.
“Delhi Will Not Put Us in Power”
Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader gave his reaction to BNP’s concern over the probable signing of the “defense pact” with India during the prime minister’s visit to that country. He said that his government will not sign any “slavery” pact with India. Quader was speaking at an event on April 5 when he asked BNP not to worry because neither Delhi nor Washington is going to put Awami League in power.
Who Runs the Government If the Prime Minister Does Not Know
Veteran BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain criticized the explanation given by Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader that the prime minister was not aware of sacking the mayors of Rajshahi and Sylhet city corporations for a second time. He was addressing a meeting of Jatiya Mohila Dal at the National Press Club on April 5, when he also added that if Obaidul Quader is right and the prime minister did not know, then the question is: who is running the gove rnment? Hossain insisted that such a big decision could not have been taken without the prime minister’s consent.
Awami League and Jatiya Party to Run the Country Together
Jaitya Party chairman and special emissary of the prime minister, Hussain Muhammad Ershad, has said he is forming an alliance to strengthen his party in preparation for the upcoming elections. He made his remarks after laying the foundation stone of a hospital in Madaripur on April 3. He further said his party has been out of power for 26 years and it may have lost much but it has not lost love. He said his party does not want to get involved with any other party, but wants to run the country along with Awami League when there will be no communalism but love, and the country will be able to make progress.