Speakers at a seminar have said Bangladesh gets much less than its expectation from its big neighbour India although Bangladesh has fulfilled its ‘all the desires’.
“India has nothing to get more from Bangladesh. She (PM) has given [India] everything, but we’re not getting so much in return,” former Industries Minister Dilip Barua told a seminar in the city, reports UNB.
Centre for Governance Studies (CGS) arranged the seminar titled ‘Cross-Border Security: Challenges and Cooperation Bangladesh Perspective’ at the auditorium of Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on Sunday.
Dilip Barua said the Prime Minister even handed over Ulfa leader Anup Chetia to India. “Ulfa bases have also been removed from here. She (PM Hasina) has ensured that no Indian insurgent stays here. Despite all this, we’re not getting our dues.”
He, however, thanked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for improving the bilateral relations with India. “She solved border and maritime disputes and she gave them the transit.”
“We know our Prime Minister’s mindset is that the bilateral relations with India will be based on equal footing. But, the main cause of the problems is whether our neighbour owns or respects it,” he added.
Dilip, also General Secretary of Samyabadi Dal, said the border problems will persist until the attitudinal problems goes.
Security specialist Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hossain said Bangladesh shares a very complicated border with India as ‘Bengal and Punjab were divided in a cruel manner’ during the India-Pakistan partition in 1947. “So, Bangladesh-India border management is a very difficult task.”
He said most members of Indian Border Security Force (BSF) are non-Bangalis who have no relation with Bengal. “So, these people become cruel.”
Sakhawat, also a former election commissioner, said the government must be very hard about border killings by BSF troops.
About cattle issue, he said if India stops cow export completely, Bangladesh will be benefited in the long run with the local farming getting the opportunity to thrive on.
Former Director General of Border Guard Bangladesh Lt Gen (retd) Md Mainul Islam said Bangladeshis are used as carriers of smuggled cows and items. Border people are forced to engage in smuggling as they have no sources of income, he added.
Manab Zamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury said a unity is needed among political leaders to address border problems. “If we fail to unite in the national interest, there’ll be no use of blaming India only.”
Turning to Rohingya issue, Matiur said Rohingyas are entering Bangladesh and it may turn out to be a big humanitarian crisis. “Political dialogue with Myanmar is needed to solve the problem.
Shahab Enam Khan, an associate professor at Jahangirnagar University, in his keynote paper said some 1006 Bangladeshis were killed by BSF from January 2000 to October 2014.
CGS Chairman Prof Dr M Ataur Rahman chaired the programme conducted by CGS Executive Director and TV anchor Zillur Rahman.
Jatiya Party presidium member Kazi Firoz Rashid MP, ambassadors Wali-ur Rahman and Mohammed Shafiullah, Bangladesh Kalyan Party chairman Maj Gen (retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, former AL MP Prof Abdul Mannan, former chairman of NBR Dr Muhammad Abdul Mazid, business leader Abdul Haque, human rights activist advocate Dr Md Shahjahan, Barrister M Sorwar Hossain and Daily Dinkal acting editor Dr Rezwan Siddique, among others, spoke on the occasion.