Friday, July 3, 2009

Start process to remove Indian envoy: MP

Dhaka, July 02 (

A BNP MP has asked the government to initiate the process to get Indian high commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty withdrawn for "breaching" diplomatic norms.

Mahbub Uddin Khokan, the lone opposition member on the parliamentary standing committee on the foreign ministry, also urged the ministry on Thursday to go public with the data on the controversial dam.

"The foreign minister herself has admitted that the high commissioner has gone beyond diplomatic norms.

"Therefore, I have demanded at the meeting that the foreign ministry send a letter to the India government for withdrawal of the Indian high commissioner," Khokan told in front of the cabinet committee room in parliament building.

"In the past, many envoys breached diplomatic norms, but no actions followed," he quoted foreign minister Dipu Moni as saying.

The committee chairman, A H Mahmood Ali, said Khokan only raised the issue and the committee did not discuss the issue.

"I don't want to comment on this as the foreign minister (on Wednesday) talked about it," Ali told after the meeting.

"The Tipaimukh dam is the issue of the water resources ministry. The foreign ministry has nothing to do with it," said the chairman.

Dipu Moni declined to talk to the reporters.

Khokan said, "I have also asked foreign ministry to send letters to the Indian authorities so that they facilitate the BNP's delegation which will visit the Tipaimukh dam site soon.

Dipu Moni said on Wednesday that the Indian high commissioner may have breached diplomatic norms when he spoke about the controversial dam issue last month.

She also rejected Chakravarty's view and said Dhaka could resolve the contention over dam construction through dialogue with New Delhi in line with international laws on common rivers and Bangladesh-India relations.

She said her ministry would take necessary action against the high commissioner if he had indeed breached diplomatic norms by his comments.

The BNP last month demanded that Chakravarty be withdrawn for what the party said was his "meddling in the internal affairs of Bangladesh".

Chakravarty, at a seminar on South Asian connectivity on June 21, had called the Bangladeshi water experts who opposed the controversial Tipaimukh dam "so-called experts" in the presence of Dipu Moni.

The envoy also took a swipe at the BNP-led alliance for opposing against the Bangladesh-India Ganges water-sharing treaty and for anti-India comments, which he said were aimed at gaining "political mileage"

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