Sunday, February 25, 2024

Ashraf differs with Dipu, says Pinak did not step out of line

LGRD and cooperatives minister Syed Ashraful Islam on Thursday came to the defence of Indian high commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty contradicting the views of foreign minister Dipu Moni that the envoy might have stepped out of line in his remarks on Bangladeshi water experts.
‘I don’t think so,’ Ashraf said in reply to a media question whether the remarks of the Indian high commissioner were beyond diplomatic norms.
Foreign minister Dipu Moni on Wednesday said that Pinak Ranjan might have departed from ‘diplomatic norms’ while making comments recently on the views of Bangladeshi water experts and environmentalists on the Tipaimukh dam.
Pinak Ranjan on June 3 dubbed Bangladeshi experts’ concern over the Tipaimukh dam ‘politically motivated’ saying that the dam was not a ‘water diversion’ project, but a ‘hydroelectric project’ claiming that both Bangladesh and India would be benefited by it.
‘The Indian high commissioner, as the representative of a friendly neighbouring country, has expressed his opinion and views frankly,’ Ashraf, also the ruling Awami League’s spokesperson, told reporters after attending a memorial meeting for Awami Swechchhasebak League leader Golam Mostafa Milon at its central office on Bangabandhu Avenue.
Ashraf said envoys of different countries, including the US and China, at different times had talked openly about internal issues of the country.
About Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s demand for withdrawal of the Indian envoy, the AL spokesperson said Pinak Ranjan was the representative of a neighbouring country and the BNP should not kick up a fuss about such matters.
Ashraf termed Tipaimukh dam a national issue and urged the opposition to join the parliament to discuss the issue instead of trying to confuse and mislead the countrymen. ‘We should not be divided on a national issue and at this crucial hour we should work together.’
Referring to party leader Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury’s allegation that the party chief Sheikh Hasina was given poisoned food when she was in prison in 2007-08, he said investigation was going on in this regard. ‘Steps will be taken after the investigation is completed.’
About withdrawal of the ‘politically motivated cases’, Ashraf said the government wanted withdrawal of all such cases and a committee had already been constituted which would take a decision in this regard.
Replying to a question on the long-awaited national council of the Awami League, the party spokesperson said a meeting of the party presidium had been convened at 6:00pm Saturday when many political decisions would be adopted.
Chaired by Dhaka city (north) unit president of the ASL, Mobassher Chowdhury, the memorial meeting was also addressed by its leaders Pankaj Debnath, Motiur Rahman Moti, Mollah Abu Kawser and Prabal Roy.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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