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Monday, November 8, 2010
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Khaleda warns against giving transit to India

Says no foreign vehicles will be allowed to use Bangladesh territory; asks govt to scrap all recent deals

Main opposition BNP stages a rally at the city's Naya Paltan marking November 7 that it celebrates as “National Revolution and Solidarity Day”. Photo: Amran Hossain

Demanding cancellation of the recently-signed deals with India, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said no foreign vehicles would be allowed to use Bangladesh territory.

“Earlier, they [government] said Bangladesh will be Singapore and crores of taka will be earned. But now we hear India will not pay any duty against transit facilities,” she told a rally organised to mark the “National Revolution and Solidarity Day”.

Also leader of the opposition, Khaleda asked the government to scrap immediately the “transit deal” with the neighbouring country. She said she would resist the government's anti-state activities even if it costs her her life.

BNP activists turned up in droves to attend the rally in front of the party's Nayapaltan headquarters in the capital.

Carrying banners, festoons and portraits of Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman, they cheered and clapped as the former prime minister took on the stage at 3:15pm.

It was, however, a different story for commuters in Nayapaltan and adjacent areas. They remained stuck in gridlock for hours, as the rally-goers packed into the thoroughfare between Paltan Police Station and Nightingale intersection.

In a speech punctuated by applause, Khaleda said she will announce fresh anti-government programmes after Eid, and urged all to unite in her party's movement to “save the country”.

Accusing the Hasina administration of politicisation in every sector, she said all appointments made on political considerations will be scrapped once BNP is voted back to power.

The BNP chief alleged that this government is doing things for others, and has failed to implement a single electoral pledge.

“Giving India transit, corridor, and Chittagong and Mongla ports was not in their [AL's] election manifesto. But this is what they are now busy doing.

“They are not giving free fertiliser, ensuring job for at least one in every family and reducing the price of rice to Tk 10 a kg, though they had pledged all these before the election.”

Khaleda said those who once said Bangladesh would be Singapore if it gave transit to India should now be sent to Hemayetpur (in Pabna town, known for the only government mental hospital in Bangladesh).

“We will resist the move to turn Bangladesh into a state of India,” she said asking the government to restore the country's dignity by scrapping the deals with India.

During Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India early this year, Dhaka and New Delhi signed three agreements on fight against terrorism and organised crime, and mutual transfer of convicted prisoners.

The joint communiqué issued after the tour said Bangladesh would allow use of Mongla and Chittagong sea ports for transport of goods to and from India. Nepal and Bhutan too would be given access to Mongla and Chittagong ports.

In her yesterday's address, the BNP chairperson blasted the government also for not holding yet the trial of those responsible for the killings at BDR Pilkhana headquarters in February last year. She added the trial must be held one day and the real culprits punished.

“The government is issuing work orders for rental power plants in favour of their party men at a high price,” she observed.

Khaleda said if the government does not quit, the people will force it out of power.

Warning the authorities, she said the section 144 would be breached if imposed to foil the opposition's peaceful programmes.

City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka chaired the rally addressed among others by senior BNP leaders Khandaker Delwar Hossain, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Moudud Ahmed and Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Islami Oikya Jote leader Mufti Fazlul Haq Amini and Jagpa leader Shafiul Alam Prodhan.

Earlier in the morning, BNP leaders and workers led by Chairperson Khaleda Zia laid wreaths at the grave of late president Ziaur Rahman at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city.

The rally was part of the party's 10-day programme to observe November 7.

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Interesting. The real political ideology of the BNP is slowly slowly coming out.

I am happy that the leaders of the civilised and developed world are telling us the danger of mixing politics with religion which give rise to extremists and religious fanatics out to destroy peace of the country of their target and others.

I only hope that the BNP understands the limitation of their political choice and make the BNP a full democratic party based on ideology of democracy and development persued by liberal education and institutional development.

: faqru usa

India always behave negative to there nearest country like Pakistan, china, Bangladesh.

: Shaief


  • Nasirullah Mridha,USA
    Monday, November 8, 2010 02:13 AM GMT+06:00 (275 weeks ago)

    This is the first time Khaleda took tough stance against is implausible that India will use our all facilities but they will not pay anything.

  • Kazi Salim
    Monday, November 8, 2010 03:33 AM GMT+06:00 (275 weeks ago)

    During her last tenure her government signed and allowed Indian Tata Company to establish their multi million business plants in Bangladesh. Her government opened business with India vigorously than the present government. She maintained better relations with India in all aspects than Awami League.

  • Selim,Dhaka.
    Monday, November 8, 2010 05:32 AM GMT+06:00 (275 weeks ago)

    Making before all these declaration to prove her sincerity she must leave that cantonment house & also she must declare that she will not stand against the proceedings of corruption cases against her sons.

  • H. Rahman
    Monday, November 8, 2010 09:33 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    She needs to come up with policies which are good for the country

  • natasha
    Monday, November 8, 2010 09:59 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    why is she against regional co-operation?

  • Dr. Iftikhar-ul-Awwal
    Monday, November 8, 2010 10:20 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    Khaleda has voiced the deep feelings and sentiments of millions of people across the country. In principle, we are not opposed to transit, and the fact is indeed reflected in the MOUs ever since 1974. For using our territory, either land or water, fees (in whatever terminology we may call it) must be realized. The various levies would balance the lop sided foreign trade of Indo-Bangla was then talked about freely.

    We want the government to come up expeditiously with explanations not only in the matter of transit and transhipment but on other issues relating to one billion dollar loan agreement.

    Dr. Iftikhar-ul-Awwal

    Professor of Economic History

    University of Dhaka

  • Anwar Aziz
    Monday, November 8, 2010 10:22 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    Both Hasina and Khaleeda should stop the politics of violence and non-cooperation. Be a leader with pragmatism and stride for a goal to develop this country.

  • Sayeed Abu Tahir
    Monday, November 8, 2010 10:44 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    I like the sprit. There should be no transit and no transshipment through our land. We are being bluffed by our politicians, bureaucrats and so called intellectuals. I am sure we are able to look after ourselves and our interest if we put a little effort with the required political willingness as a push.

  • Muhammad Zahirul Bhuiyan
    Monday, November 8, 2010 10:48 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    Would you please shift your rallies to an open space?

    You are doing no good to city dwellers but creating irritation..

  • Abul Hasan Qureishi
    Monday, November 8, 2010 11:02 AM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    Awami League is doing the right thing. BNP is making a big mistake by raising these issues.Bangladesh will get a lot of fee when India uses Chittagong port.

  • mahfuj ahmed
    Monday, November 8, 2010 01:08 PM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    I think it will be big mistake of present government giving transit without duty . After all khaleda is right at this point.

  • Virendra
    Monday, November 8, 2010 12:54 PM GMT+06:00 (274 weeks ago)

    Whole world is moving towards consolidation and cooperation in areas of trade and business, but unfortunately some politicians look nothing beyond petty politics.

    Bangladesh is in an envious position to exploit its port facilities just like Sri Lanka is doing in Southern India.





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