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Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday claimed that procuring arms from any arms importing country, indicating India, could put adverse impact on the standard of Bangladesh Armed Forces.
Khaleda said prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to India was an utter failure as Bangladesh got nothing while India got what it wanted.
The BNP chief came up with the remarks at a news conference at her Gulshan office to inform her party’s stance as regards the recently signed deals and MoUs with India.
Reacting to prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s comment that she was satisfied with her visit to India, Khaleda said people of Bangladesh were not satisfied with the outcome of the visit.
She said people did not want a bundle of deals and memos against the national interest.
Khaleda said the incumbent government could not or did not protect the national interest in any agreement or MoUs with India.
They (AL govt) were only repaying debts of gratefulness compromising national interest and national sovereignty, Khaleda observed.
The BNP chief said her party was in favour of taking a common stand on national issues including independence, sovereignty and national security, saying BNP would extend support if Sheikh Hasina in her visit had played a strong role to uphold these matters but unfortunately she failed to do so.
Rather, she (Hasina) made Bangladesh a part of military plan of India, Khaleda said.
She said experts feared that syllabus, curriculum and other sensitive issues of Bangladesh defence training institutions might face unwanted interference due to the MoUs with India.
Asked about prime minister’s remarks that BNP signed military deal with China, Khaleda said her government had signed the deal consulting with Bangladesh armed forces and procured modern and new arms from China as Bangladesh military force was used to using Chinese arms.
She wondered how it was justified to procure arms from those who themselves imported arms and their arms were of low standard whereas China was exporting arms to many countries.
In reply to a question, she said BNP demanded a free and fair election without any external interference.
Asked what was the basis for Khaleda’s recent comment that prime minister signed the deals for staying in power for five years more, she said people time would say what she did.
She said signing sensitive matter like defence agreement or memo between the two countries keeping people in dark deepened the mistrust.
In reply to a question about any programme against the deals, she said the news conference was a part of the programme.
Reading out her written statement, Khaleda said the prime minister returned home empty-handed.
Only a number of agreements and memos on priorities and proposed issues of India were signed, she observed.
She alleged that in the visit no progress was made on Bangladesh priority issues including due share of Teesta river water, Ganges barrage project, stopping border killing and removal of tariff and non-tariff obstacles on Bangladesh’s export items.
She said Sheikh Hasina now questioned about feasibility of Ganges barrage project failing to realise consent of India.
Referring to recent meeting of prime minister with Hefajat-e-Islam and conference of Alem Ulama before and after her visit, the BNP chief said Hasina started politics with religion.
Asked about removal of Greek goddess statue in front of Supreme Court, she said it was the matter of Supreme Court and chief justice.
BNP standing committee members, senior leaders and BNP-led alliance leaders were present at the conference conducted by Khaleda’s press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan.
Source: New Age