Govt giving extra importance on development of CHT: PM

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Dhaka, December 01: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the government is giving extra importance comparing to other areas of the country for the development of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) as this area was neglected for more than 20 years, reports UNB.

“We are giving additional importance on the development of CHT area as this area was neglected for a long time, this area was out of development for a long time, development projects were not implemented in this area for about 20 years,” she said.

The Prime Minister said this while speaking at a programme through videoconferencing to celebrate the 20 years of signing the historical CHT Peace Treaty from her official residence Ganobhaban.

Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry organised the programme at Rangamati stadium while the Prime Minister participated in that programme from Ganobhaban in Dhaka.

The Prime Minister said that the government is implementing various socio-economic projects in the CHT area which are not included in the Treaty.

She mentioned that the people were neglected from the light of development due to the confrontational situation of this area.

“That’s why we are implementing special projects from every ministry to develop this area,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Awami League government coming to power in 1996 started its hectic efforts to bring peaceful situation in the CHT that was created during the military regime of Ziaur Rahman.

She mentioned that with vigorous efforts the then Awami League government was successful to ink the Treaty on December 2 in 1997.

“It is our responsibility to implement the Treaty as we have done that, surely we will fully implement the Treaty, but we need cooperation from all, we want overall development of this area,” she said.

Saying that the government has implemented most of the Treaty and a very negligible part is remained unimplemented, the Prime Minister said that the most complex point of the treaty that left is the land problem.

“We have formed Land Commission, I hope that if the Regional Council cooperates, we will be able to implement that also,” she said.

She also mentioned that the government has amended the Land Law in 2016 as per their demand.

“We have implemented most parts of the Treaty, the rest of the parts are going on, we will gradually implement those,” she said.

Recalling the oppose of BNP while singing the CHT Peace Treaty in 1997, Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of ruling Awami League, said BNP called hartal on that day.

“I think some of them were involved in the arms trading, they were making some money by this, their business will be stopped, that’s why they enforced the strike,” she said.

She also mentioned that BNP chief Khaleda Zia had claimed that after the Treaty Feni will be gone under India. “To make that real, they made Indian flags, our intelligence agency personnel seized those, they went such low position,” she said.

Citing examples of some peace treaties, she said that after those treaties the rebels did not surrender all their arms, but Bangladesh was exception.

Regarding the spreading of confusion by some vested quarters, she said that everything will be done under the purview of the Constitution of the country and it has been written in the Peace Treaty.

She also said that BNP had wasted times for implementing the Treaty coming to power in 2001 as they were not sincere about its implementation.

“They stopped the process of the implementation,” she said.

State Minister for Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Shing, who was present at Ganobhaban, delivered the welcome speech.

Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor spoke at the programme from Rangamati.