Prime Minister’s IT Adviser Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed Joy has rejected BNP’s claim on the South Talpatti island and advised the party’s leaders to visit the place.
He also asked whether BNP founder Ziaur Rahman had given away the island to India.
Joy was speaking at a discussion in Dhaka on Friday.
He said the Talpatti island was missing from all maps drawn in 1980, though the it existed at that time.
“So in all maps made in 1980, Talpatti was given away to India. So does that mean Ziaur Rahman gave away the island to India?”
The claim of sovereignty over the South Talpatti Island has been a key element of the anti-India rhetoric in Bangladeshi politics, although the sandbar landform disappeared into the ocean in the ’90s.
As per the verdict given by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Hague in the India-Bangladesh maritime boundary dispute, the part of the ocean where the island lay has fallen within Indian territory.
While the government is claiming that the verdict is a victory for both sides, the BNP leaders have been critical. They are saying Bangladesh has lost Talpatti Island and India has gained dominance in the Bay of Bengal.
“I will ask again – did this verdict happen by itself or did we put in all our efforts to succeed in it?” Joy asked.
“People who are doing propaganda over the verdict today, I have a question for them,” he said.
“What did you do during two terms in power? Why didn’t you appoint international lawyers?”
“Those who are talking about Talpatti, I will urge them to go to Talpatti and hold their protests there. I hope you can swim,” he said.
The island had emerged from the ocean after a 1970 cyclone at the mouth of Hariabhanga river. It disappeared in the 90s.
‘Those saying Zinabad should go to Pakistan’
Joy criticised BNP’s slogan, saying, “Those who say Bangladesh Zindabad should go to Pakistan.”
“Another political force is present in our country, which has never wanted our independence. They never wanted Bangladesh. They still want to be a part of Pakistan,” he said.
“We have been saying Joy Bangla since 1971. Why are they embarrassed to say Joy Bangla? They say, Bangladesh Zindabad”
“There is no Zindabad in Bengali, that is an Urdu word. I am confounded. They killed three million people on our soil. In 1952, people gave their lives to speak Bengali. Now, here in Bangladesh, a Bangalee cannot possibly speak in Urdu,” he said.
“I say they are not Bangalees, they’re Pakistanis,” he said.
“People who say Bangladesh Zindabad need to go back to Pakistan. We don’t need them in Bangladesh,” Joy said.
Source: Bd news24