Zia opposes transit facility to India

Monday, November 8, 2010

DHAKA - Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has come out strongly against the government decision to allow New Delhi to use the Bangladeshi territory to take goods from one part of India to another.

Zia told a public rally Sunday that India would not pay any duty for the transit of the goods.

“Earlier, they (government) said Bangladesh will be a Singapore, and crores of taka will be earned. But now we hear India will not pay any duty against transit facilities,” the Daily Star reported Monday.

She said she would resist the government’s anti-state activities “even if it costs her her life”.

India’s trade with Bangladesh increased from $1 billion in 2001-02 to $3.17 billion in 2007-08, more than three folds, mainly on the back of a 79.4 percent increase in India’s exports.

Zia, a two-term prime minister, has opposed all deals that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed during her New Delhi visit in January.

These include accords on transit facilities, on trade, and exchange of information on criminals and religious extremists.

Bangladesh and India are currently in the process of working out details of the deals.

“We will resist the move to turn Bangladesh into a state of India,” Zia said, asking the government to restore the country’s dignity by scrapping the deals with India.

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