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BNP against providing land to India for Agartala airport
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir talking to reporters after placing wreaths at BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave. Photo: Muhammed Abdur Rahman Jahangir/UNB

BNP against providing land to India for Agartala airport

Dhaka, Aug 19 (UNB) – BNP on Monday said there is no reason for Bangladesh to provide its land to India in Brahmanbaria to expand Agartala airport.

“There’ve been media reports about it (India’s desire to use Bangladeshi land in Brahmanbaria). We’re closely observing the matter,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He further said, “Bangladesh government hasn’t agreed yet, and there’s no question about providing any land. There’s no reason to give our land to any other country.”

Fakhrul came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave along with leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal, marking its 39th founding anniversary.

Media reports said India wants a piece of Bangladesh’s land in Brahmanbaria to expand the Agartala airport, but the country is yet to make any proposal in this regard.

Fakhrul said their party is not ‘optimistic’ about getting any positive outcome to resolve the outstanding problems with India from the visit of its External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“We’ve been hearing for 10-12 years that the Awami League government’s relation with India reached the highest level, but we still didn’t get the fair share of water from the Teesta River. Border killing could not be stopped as no step has been taken to remove the trade deficit with India,” he said.

The BNP leader said Bangladesh’s no pending issue with India has so far been resolved. “But India solved its own problems with us. That’s why we can’t be optimistic and we also don’t expect much from this visit.”

S Jaishankar is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on Monday night to discuss bilateral issues and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming visit to India.

Fakhrul protested Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s remark involving Zia with the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 15, 1975, saying the ruling party is trying to distort history.

“It’s historical fact that Ziaur Rahman in no way was involved with the assassination. Their people (AL leaders) were involved with it (the murder of Bangabandhu). Those who formed the government and parliament after the assassination were involved with it,” he observed.

Fakhrul criticised Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun for his accusing BNP of involving in rawhide disaster, and said the minister made such an imprudent comment to hide his failure.

He said the current government has failed to run the country as it lacks people’s mandate. “There’s no representative of people both in the government and parliament. The unelected ministers have nothing to do except making unguarded remarks.”

The BNP leader alleged that the government is trying to be the ‘master’ of people by eliminating politics and political parties. “They want the country to be run by a single party, but people won’t let it happen.”

He warned that people will surely restore democracy in the country through a movement as they did in the past.