Bangladesh for maintaining good ties with neighbours: PM

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Dhaka, July 30: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said Bangladesh believes in maintaining good relations with the neighbouring countries.

“It’s natural that problems will exist among the neighbors. But friendship and cooperation will also continue and the problems will have to be solved through discussions,” she said.

The premier came up with the assertion when Pakistani High Commissioner in Dhaka Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui who paid a courtesy call on her at her office in the morning.

After the meeting, the prime minister’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters.

The prime minister said Bangladesh has solved land boundary and maritime disputes with India peacefully. “The Indian parliament ratified the Land Boundary Bill unanimously,” she said, adding peaceful resolution of the dispute has set an example in the world.

Sheikh Hasina also mentioned the resolving maritime dispute with Myanmar in the same way. “We’ve also solved insurgency problem in Chittagong Hill Tracts and brought back 62,000 refugees from India by signing peace treaty,” she said.

Terming again poverty as the main enemy of the region, the prime minister put emphasis on working together by all countries of the region to root out poverty.

She also elaborated her government’s achievements in various sectors that took place in the last eight and a half years.

“After assuming office, we’ve set goals to ensure food security, education and healthcare for the people,” she said.

Besides, she said, there are necessary policies of the Awami League including economic policy to ensure socioeconomic development of the country.

The prime minister said the past BNP-Jamaat government stopped many people’s welfare-oriented programmes like community clinics and “ekti bari ekti khamar project” out of political vengeance.

Sheikh Hasina also referred to the 21 August grisly grenade attack on her in 2004 and said the militants carried out synchronised bomb blasts at 500 places in 63 districts out of 64 in 2005.

While talking about the menace of terrorism, the Prime Minister said the arms sellers are ultimately being benefitted from it.

Highly lauding the development activities in Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Pakistani high commissioner said that Bangladesh has now totally changed with the uplift.

Siddiqui said that the Pakistani people highly appreciated the way Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been containing terrorism and militancy.

Referring to the terrorist attack on Holey Artisan Cafe in the city last year, the Pakistani high commissioner said after that attack, such incident did not recur in Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been dealing terrorism and militancy with iron hands.

Siddiqui said that both Bangladesh and Pakistan share many commonalities and he would continue to work for the improvement of the relations between the two countries.

PM’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, PMO Senior Secretary Suraiya Begum and PM’s Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin were present.

Source: Agencies