Development activities have been going on in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in full swing since the peace accord was signed in 1997, and none other than the Awami League-led government thought about changing the fate of the hill people, speakers said yesterday.
They made the comments at the inaugural session of a daylong programme, which celebrated the partnership between Bangladesh and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), at the capital's Sonargaon hotel.
The CHT affairs ministry and ICIMOD jointly organised it.
A lot of development activities were undertaken in CHT in the last six to seven years, said prime minister's International Affairs Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi.
He said the government had drafted an amendment bill on the CHT land dispute resolution commission, and it would be placed and passed in parliament any day.
The land commission will be activated after passing the bill.
Rizvi also claimed that most clauses of the CHT peace accord were implemented.
Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, MP, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on CHT affairs, said the AL-led government took up the unfinished task of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to bring CHT under the mainstream of development.
State Minister for CHT Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing praised the role of ICIMOD for development in CHT.
Bangladesh and ICIMOD collaborate on livelihood improvement, watershed management, disaster-risk reduction, and adaptation to climate change, among others, said Golam Rasul, theme leader, livelihoods, Bangladesh Focal Point of ICIMOD.