Sunday, June 28, 2009

Only MPs' team will visit Tipaimukh: BNP

Dhaka, June 28 (—A senior BNP leader has said only one parliamentary members' team will go to Tipaimukh to see the proposed Indian dam.

Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, also BNP's policymaking standing committee member, on Sunday asked the government to go public with all data and information received on controversial dam in India's Manipur state on the upstream Borak, which enters Bangladesh as Kushiara.

"Sending two or more teams to Tipaimukh will only jeopardise our national unity andreveal our rifts, weakening Bangladesh's bargaining power with India. People do not want it," he said at a press briefing in his business office in Shegun Bagicha.

The former minister, however, indicated that the main opposition party might consider sending a separate team to Tipaimukh only in case the parliamentary delegation fails to include experts recommended by them.

He alluded to foreign minister Dipu Moni's request to India not to begin the dam construction before the visit of the delegation to Tipaimukh. "The minister's request only shows that our concerns have been well founded."

"We have been protesting the dam construction proposal since India had initiated it a decade back, which the government had not heeded then."

BNP is now working to raise public awareness about the Tipaimukh issues, he said and added that party chief Khaleda Zia has written to the Indian prime minister about it.

BNP is keeping the leaders of a number of foreign nations informed of the developments, he said.

"We'll plan our next move after seeing what the government does in this respect," the former minister said.

A former Dhaka University geology professor, he observed that Tipaimukh will harm India and will be a veritable death-trap for Bangladesh.

"India's proposal to build a dam at Tipaimukh may cause disastrous earthquakes and landslides in the region, as the active 'Dawki geo-techtonic fault' zone is contiguous to the river Barak.

"Even the Indian geologists have opposed the construction of the dam at Tipaimukh."

Besides, unilateral construction on a water body shared by more than one nation amounts to breaching the international legal regime too, he said.

He also commented on deputy leader of parliament Sajeda Chowdhury's allegation on Saturday that during the last caretaker government's regime, the jail authorities had served detainedAwami League chief Sheikh Hasina poisoned food.

Mosharraf said, "Such allegations might be well founded in both the ex-prime ministers' (Hasina and Khaleda) cases."

"The unelected caretaker government had employed more or less similar tactics to implement their 'Minus Two' theory, which they failed because people would not endorse it."

He demanded that the allegation of 'poisoning' be probed.


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