BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday accused the government of ignoring the Teesta water-sharing issue on the plea of maintaining cordial relations with India and warned that people will not accept it.
“We also want friendly relations with India and that has to be based on mutual interests. But it’s not our duty to protect others’ interests sacrificing our ones. People won’t accept if you (PM) ignore our problems only to maintain warm relations (with India),” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the comment while speaking at an iftar party arranged by National People’s Party (NPP), one of the components of the BNP-led 20-party alliance, at a city hotel.
He said the Prime Minister went to West Bengal’s Santiniketan and opened Bangladesh Bhaban there, but she did not raise the issue of people’s rights and resolving the outstanding problems with the neighbouring country.
Referring to newspaper reports that the Prime Minister said she did not want to ruin the cordial atmosphere talking about problems, the BNP leader questioned, “Why will the cordial relations get affected if she raises voice about our own rights? Would we forget the water problem to maintain the warm relations (with India)?”
Fakhrul said though the current government is talking to signing the Teesta water-sharing deal since it assumed office nine years back, they could not yet do that.
He said Bangladeshi citizens are being killed like birds along the border by the Indian Border Security Force, but the government could not take effective steps to stop that.
Fakhrul said the Prime Minister should have talked to both China and India for resolving the Rohingya crisis.
The BNP leader said people expect the country’s representatives to talk about their problems when they visit any country.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina went to West Bengal on Friday morning on a two-day visit at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. She was scheduled to reach home on Saturday night.
Fakhrul also criticised the government for ‘unlawfully’ killing at least 50 people over the last 7-8 days in the name of anti-narcotics drive instead of taking action against the ‘drug lords’ belonging to the ruling party.
“The drug lords are there in your own party who run narcotic business and bring those into the country. An MP himself is known as a drug lord. But no action has been taken against him. Instead, you are saying there’s no evidence that he has involvement in such business,” the BNP leader quipped.
Fakhrul said their party is also against narcotics and want the drug abuse to be eliminated from the country. “But it’s not possible to remove it through arms. A social movement is necessary to be launched so that people can resist the drug peddlers.”
He also urged democratic parties and people to get united to force the government to quit and hold the next general election under a non-party government with the deployment of army.