Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Moni has said she is hopeful that India will ratify the long delayed Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with its neighbour despite New Delhi’s repeated failure to introduce a bill in Parliament.
“We are still hopeful,” said Ms. Moni at a news briefing at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday. She, however, made it clear that she was not sure whether India will be able to implement the bilateral accord during her current government’s tenure as only a few months are in hand.
The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist allies allege that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government “gave everything to India, but received nothing”, citing her failure to get the two deals ratified by India.
On the sensitive border killing by BSF men, including the recent judgment by a BSF court on the much talked about Felani killing, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh has already sought details of the Felani trial proceedings from India, and will appeal if it does not get justice when the process at BSF court ends.
Felani Khatun, a poor Bangladeshi girl, was shot dead when she was crossing the barbed-wire fence on the border in Kurigram on January 7, 2011. The photo of her body hanging at the top of the fence triggered outcry worldwide.
The General Security Forces Court of the Indian BSF in West Bengal recently acquitted BSF constable Amiya Ghosh on the charge of killing of the Bangladeshi girl. The acquittal has once again heightened anti-India mood.
On U.S. concerns over Dhaka’s decision to take legal action against Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Ms. Moni explained that she did not see any reason for Washington to be worried. She said any action will be “well within the law of the land”.
The U.S. state department has recently expressed concern over the government’s planned legal actions against Yunus on charges tax evasion after the Sheikh Hasina government decided to take legal measures against the former Grameen Bank Managing Director for allegedly evading taxes by making false tax rebate claims; violating foreign travel regulations; and misuse of power. The Nobel Laureate has brushed off the allegations as “baseless”.
“We urge the Government of Bangladesh to treat Dr Yunus in a fair and transparent manner, in keeping with Bangladeshi law and the principles of due process,” said a deputy spokesperson of the US state department. Opposition political parties including the BNP have accused the government of pursuing a personal vendetta against Yunus.