Transit facility to India ‘not in our interest’, says Dhaka

July 13th, 2008 - 12:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 13 (IANS) Bangladesh has reiterated that it will not allow India land transit facility, saying it is not in its “national interest”. An unequivocal statement came from foreign affairs advisor Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury Saturday as India and Bangladesh prepared for political consultations scheduled this week in New Delhi.

“I wish to announce unequivocally and firmly that the ministry of foreign affairs will never, under any circumstances, agree to any arrangement that is contrary to our sovereign national interest,” Chowdhury said.

“I wish to apprise all concerned about this in the clearest terms, and reassure the nation in this respect.”

He comments came after Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said India was “interested in transit” but that it was “purely an economic issue” and there was “no politics” in it.

“We believe it’s purely an economic issue, not a political issue at all. But here it is made a political issue though I don’t see any reason for that,” the United News of Bangladesh (UNB) quoted him as saying.

Chakravarty dismissed the idea that India had set any timeframe to get the transit facility from Bangladesh, The Daily Star reported Sunday.

“We are prepared to negotiate with any country on any subject, but no solution can ever be imposed on us without our consent,” he said. “This is an axiomatic truth of our diplomacy.”

India has for long sought transit facility in Bangladesh to reach out to its northeastern region. These have been rejected by successive Bangladesh governments.

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