Pranab optimistic about passing bill
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed optimism about his government introducing and passing a constitutional amendment bill in parliament to give effect to the provisions of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh and its 2011 protocol in the current budget session.
â€œHe (Pranab) himself said that the bill will be placed and expressed his belief that it would be passed in both the houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) in this session,â€ Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters after her meeting with the Indian president at Sonargaon Hotel yesterday afternoon.
Dipu Moni said the Indian president has also expressed his belief that the Teesta Water Sharing Agreement will also be signed soon.
â€œI informed him (Pranab) that we are also preparing for the ratification of the protocol of LBA signed in 2011 in our parliament,â€ she said, adding, â€œWe are hoping that the Teesta agreement would be signed as soon as possible.â€
â€œDiscussions are going on with the West Bengal state in this regard,â€ Dipu Moni said quoting the Indian president.
In response to a question from an Indian journalist about the recent attack on Hindus in the country, the Bangladeshi foreign minister described the attack as â€œunfortunate and deplorableâ€, saying the government had expressed its firm conviction not to tolerate any activity by any quarter to destabilise the country and breach communal harmony.
On another query about the cancellation of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's scheduled meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee this (Monday) afternoon, Dipu Moni said she heard about the matter through television news. â€œIt is a hartal called by them. Failure to attend after seeking and fixing an appointment with the president of a country may not be that decent.â€
Responding to another question, the foreign minister said they did not talk about the border killing issue specifically, but discussed the issue with regard to border security and other initiatives being implemented jointly by the two countries.
Asked whether they had any discussion regarding the country's recent political situation, Dipu Moni replied negative.
Dipu Moni said the meeting with the Indian president was very good and productive. â€œPranab Mukherjee is a friend of Bangladeshâ€¦he was a friend of Bangladesh during the Liberation War and he will remain our friend in our journey together,â€ she added.