Published:  04:25 AM, 10 October 2019

I can't sell out country: PM

'All deals in country's interest'

I can't sell out country: PM Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaking at a press conference at Ganabhaban on Wednesday. -BSS
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday assured the people that she has a firm confidence in herself that she will not sell the country to anyone.

"I have the confidence that what I do always are for the wellbeing of the country. BNP along with some vested quarters are alleging that I will sell the country to India. I firmly say that I will not sell the country to anyone for anything. It is not an easy the country has been sold as anybody says so," she said. "Everybody must know Sheikh Hasina will never compromise on the interests of her country. Those who have raised questions and talked on LPG export and Feni River deal have forgotten the past."

The Prime Minister came up with the observation while she was addressing a press conference on the outcome of her recent official visits to the USA after attending UNGA and India. In response to a question, Sheikh Hasina defended Bangladesh's plan to export Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) to India's Tripura  state.

Sheikh Hasina said, "I want to remind you that in the year 2001, United States of America asked us to sell our gas. In that time I told them that I will export gas after meeting our own demand. As a result, we couldn't form government subsequently. Today, those who are telling we are selling gas to India had come to power by giving undertaken in 2001 to sell our natural gas." 

Bangladesh will export only imported and processed LPG to India, not the country's natural gas. In fact, LPG is a new addition to our export basket. There shouldn't be any misunderstanding over the issue," she said. Hasina also recalled the role of the government and the people of Tripura during the country's War of Liberation in 1971. About Feni River water sharing agreement with India the premier said Feni River is a bordering river.

We will  provide only 1.82 cusec water to a union of India for drinking purpose. It is too little amount of water. As the union is far away from the Indian part of Feni River, we signed the agreement requested by the Indian government. It's not a big deal as we have more common rivers and we have to work on these."  

The prime minister recalled, during the BNP regime when journalists drew attention of the then prime minister Khaleda Zia at a press conference after a visit to India, about river water agreement; she said "I forgot this." This was the scenario of BNP government. Now they are opposing a simple deal. It so sad, Hasina added. 

 In response another question, Sheikh Hasina ruled out the possibility of banning student politics in the country saying that student politics cannot be prohibited following a single incident of killing.
She said, "When I was a student, I did politics. Politics is a matter of learning and it is high time to exercise it in student life. As a former student leader, how can I ban student politics? Only dictators want to ban politics as they fear them."

Replying to a question as to why the prime minister will have to deal with matters of all ministries and what is the job of the administration, Hasina said, "I do it willingly. I am not a prime minister who gets up at noon. As the head of the government, I always have updates and when I think that my order is necessary, I do so as I always think for the country."

Sheikh Hasina alleged that after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with most of his family members in 1975, the subsequent governments could not resolve ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement issue and failed to gain control over the vast maritime territory in the sea.

"Those who were in power from 1975 to 1996 did not have the courage to raise such issues with India. But, it was Awami League which initiated the work again in 1996 to resolve these issues," she said.          Hasina said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India have reached to a special height following her four-day official visit to India from October 3 to 6.       

Abrar's killers to get highest punishmentThe prime minister assured that maximum punishment will be given to those involved in the brutal killing of BUET student Abrar Fahad.

She said: "Whatever the political identity of the culprit, maximum punishment will be ensured. I will not consider anyone even if it is Chhatra League. The killers will be tried. The culprit is the culprit. There is no other identity of them."

She said Abrar was son of a general family. What is the reason behind the brutal and dangerous act like picking up and beating such a brilliant student? So, we're taking action against them."The premier said she will soon order law-enforcing agencies to start a crackdown on illicit activity in universities and other educational institutions across the country.

She said, "The authorities of BUET can ban student politics on the campus if the university wants to do it. We have no objection on it. We will not interfere."

"Beating somebody to death is extremely inhumane. I can feel the pain of the parents who lost their child." She also promised no political interference in the trial of the Abrar murder suspects.

Abrar, 21, a resident of Sher-e-Bangla Hall of BUET, was declared dead around 3:00am on Monday by BUET medical officer Md Mashuk Elahi after he was mercilessly beaten by some Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists of the university unit.

Police have arrested 13 BUET students, including the BCL unit's general secretary Mehedy Hasan Russell, over Abrar murder. Meanwhile, BCL has expelled 11 leaders and activists.

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