Bangladesh cannt afford to offer free transit

Bangladesh cannt afford to offer free transit


BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday night said Bangladesh’s friendship with any country must be based on equality and any country should use its land giving transit fee.

“Friendship [with any country]is good, but it should be based on equality protecting our own interests. There could no friendship sacrificing own interests. The friendship is that which ensures equality, or else, it turns into slavery,” she said.Without naming India, the BNP chief further said, “You [BD people] have to pay toll to cross the Jamuna Bridge for going to northern districts like Bogra and Pabna. But there’re some countries that will use our country but won’t have to pay transit fee or anything.”

She questioned whether the country’s thoroughfares have the capacity to take the load of heavy vehicles of other countries. “Within a few days our roads and highways will get dilapidated taking such heavy loads.”

Speaking at a views-exchange programme with Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum of Mymensingh District Bar at her Gulshan office, Khaleda said they are not against the use of Bangladesh land by any other country. “But they must pay transit fee for using our land.”

Khaleda alleged that the country is not safe in the hands of Awami League as the party annihilated democracy. “The country is now under the rule of one family. In fact, the country is now under the grasp of monarchy of a single family as people have no basic right.”

The BNP chief once again opposed building the coal-based Rampal thermal power plant, saying it will destroy the Sundarbans and its biodiversity. “We’re not against the power plant …we want power plants, but those should be built somewhere else, not near the Sundarbans under any circumstances.”

Khaleda claimed that the Awami League-led government has lost ground beneath its feet losing its popularity.

Criticising law enforcers for what she said abusing their power, the former Prime Minister said police has now become bigger than the government. “They’re now the bigger government and resorting to killings, enforced disappearances, extortion and repression. They now often claim they have kept this regime in power. I want to say it can’t be possible to cling to power counting on Rab and police.”

She accused the government of unfairly suspending BNP-backed city mayors. “They (govt) can’t do that. We’re supposed to get justice from the court in this regard, but the court can’t work freely to ensure justice.”

Turning down the media reports about the organisational weakness of her party, Khaleda said, “Our party is united and well-organised, no matter who writes what. As our many leaders have been put into jails and many others are on the run facing false cases, we’re reorganising the party.”

She said those party leaders and activists are dedicated, tested, and have been active during the anti-government movement will get due honour and reward.

Khaleda urged the lawyers to work hard and get united putting aside misunderstanding and conflicts among them to ensure the victory of the entire panel of Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum in the August 13 Bar Council election. – UNB



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