Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia yesterday sent a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seeking cooperation in sending a separate delegation to the proposed Tipaimukh dam site.
The letter contained names of six nominated members of the delegation. The team includes--two former BNP ministers MK Anwar and maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, former water resources secretary Mohammad Asafuddoula, former vice-chancellor of Dhaka University Prof Moniruzzaman Miah, former director of Water Development Board Sharif Rafiqul Islam and water expert Prof M Abdur Rob.
A three-member BNP delegation led by party joint secretary Nazrul Islam Khan handed the letter to prime minister's Assignment Officer Manoj Kanti Boral and Protocol Officer Proloy Kumar Joardar at prime minister's office.
The BNP chairperson sent the letter following prime minister's call on June 24 to the opposition to send a separate team for the dam site visit.
“In the interest of the nation we [BNP] have agreed to your proposal for sending a separate delegation including water experts to visit the Tipaimukh dam site although an all-party delegation including experts would have expressed national unity,” Khaleda wrote to Hasina.
“We, as the opposition, cannot send a delegation to another country. So, we are seeking your help for sending the team and obtaining related information and documents from India on Tipaimukh dam,” said BNP chairperson in her letter.
Referring to Foreign Minister Dipu Moni's statement on receiving information from India regarding Tipaimukh dam, the leader of the opposition drew prime minister's attention urging her to give necessary direction for providing the information to the BNP delegation so that it could make preparation.
“Tipaimukh dam is a national crisis. That is why it should be solved through national consensus. Hence we took stance in favour of the nation's interest and think that our role will strengthen the government during talks with India,” said the letter.
Earlier on June 21, opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farrouque proposed to include five water expertsDr Ainun Nishat, former water secretary Asafuddoula, Dr Torofder, MA Rob and Dr Asif Nazrul--in the all-party parliamentary team.
He said if neutral water experts were not included, BNP would not join the all-party parliamentary team to visit Tipaimukh dam location.
However, the BNP chairperson dropped Ainun Nishat, Torofder and Asif Nazrul from the latest list of experts.