12:01 AM, April 23, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

AL allies press for Teesta talks

AL allies press for Teesta talks

Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee

The partners in the ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance yesterday recommended that the government ensure proper sharing of the Teesta river water through bilateral talks with neighbouring India.
They said the government should persuade Indian authorities to meet Bangladesh's demand, as the people of northern districts were badly affected by India's massive withdrawal of the Teesta water violating bilateral agreement, said sources in an alliance meeting at AL president's Dhanmondi office in the capital.
The Daily Star, which has been facing an unexplained and unwritten bar from covering AL office meetings since April 5, got to know of the meeting outcomes through phone conversations with some leaders who attended the programme.
As in previous programmes, this correspondent was denied access to the post-meeting briefing at the AL president's office yesterday. The office staff refused to let The Daily Star reporter in, saying AL Office Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap instructed  them to do so. When called by phone, Golap declined to give any explanation.
Meanwhile, the BNP began its two-dayz long march towards the Teesta Barrage in Lalmonirhat in the morning, demanding fair share of the river water.
At the meeting presided over by AL presidium member Mohammad Nasim, AL leaders assured the allies that bilateral talks on the Teesta issue were going on, and the government was trying its best to realise its due share. The AL leaders also hoped that the issue would be resolved through talks with India's upcoming new government.
The AL allies urged the government to remain alert so that none could make Teesta a political issue and create any anarchy in the country.
They also called for all-out measures to ensue public safety ahead of the verdict on Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee who faces war crimes charges.
About BNP's long march, the allies viewed that as a political party, BNP could organise any political programme for the logical public demands but said its march was nothing but a politically motivated programme aiming to cheer up its leaders and activities.
According to the meeting sources, the partners drew attention of AL leaders about Hefajat-e Islam Ameer Shah Ahmed Shafi's remarks that AL and Chhatra League activists and the people in Hasina-led government were their friends. In response, Nasim said it was Hefajat's strategy to create misunderstanding within the 14-party alliance.  At the meeting, the 14-party alliance decided to hold public rallies in Khulna on April 26, in Savar on April 27, and in Mymensingh on April 28 to whip up public support in favour of the war crimes trial and against the "anarchic activities" by BNP-Jamaat.



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