Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) senior vice chairman Hafizuddin Ahmed on Wednesday said Alleging that the current government is accountable to a particular country, not to people, Bangladesh will not get the due share of water of Teesta and other common rivers unless a pro-people government comes to power.
‘Our main problem with India is over water. India is determined not to give us (due share of) water… our foreign minister yesterday (Tuesday) said it matters little whether the Teesta deal is signed or not. He could make such a comment as the government is not accountable to people since they’re not elected with people’s votes,’ he said.
Speaking at a seminar, he further said, ‘The country’s people won’t get the due share of water as long as a pro-people government is installed in power. We’ll continue to suffer for lack of water as the current government is accountable to another country.’
South Asia Youth for Peace and Prosperity Society arranged the seminar titled ‘Bangladesh-India Water Dispute’ at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity.
Hafiz, a former water resources minister, alleged that the government has fulfilled all the demands of India, but did not get anything from it in return.
He said it is necessary to draw international attention to solve the water problem with the neighbourning country. ‘A joint river commission was formed with a pledge to hold four meetings every year to ensure the due share of common rivers. But no meeting was held in the last 10 years. The government has failed to resolve the water problem.
About the media speculation that a defence deal to be singed during the prime minister’s tour, the BNP leader urged the government not to sign any deal with India that will put the country’s independence and sovereignty at stake.
Opposing the defence deal, Hafiz said, ‘India is a war-loving country and it used to engage in fight with Pakistan and China. If such a deal is signed, we’ll have to take part in the war to be waged by India against any country.’
Speaking at the programme, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury said India has committed a crime against humanity by depriving Bangladesh of its due share of water. ‘Crime against humanity is only committed by killing people. If the natural flow of water is disturbed and it causes death to people, it is also a crime against humanity.’
He urged the prime minister to make her best efforts during her India tour to protect Bangladesh’s interests and ensure the welfare of its people.