Chittagong Hill Tracts: PM Will Uphold Peace Agreements
Below is an article published by: The Daily Star
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday [18 Feb 2009] said problems of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) will have to be resolved politically as these are all political issues.
She made the remark when a five-member delegation of the International Commission on Chittagong Hill Tracts led by its Co-chairman Lord Eric Avebury called on her at the Prime Minister's Office.
Hasina told the delegation that she in 1981 for the first time suggested resolving the CHT problems politically and the last Awami League government in 1996 formed a cell to identify the problems.
Following the initiatives, the long-expected CHT peace accord was signed in 1997.
“Many of the clauses of the peace treaty were implemented by the last AL government, but later the process was halted,” she said.
But now the new government has started working again to resolve the problems in the CHT areas in line with the peace accord, she told the team.
The PM said the government already has initiated some development programmes, especially on communications and infrastructures, in the hill districts.
To a query, Hasina said, “Development did not take place at optimum level in the country as the last BNP-led four-party alliance government through politicisation almost destroyed the democratic institutions.”
She asserted that all democratic institutions of the country will be strengthened further.
And all problems of the country, including the CHT issues, would be removed as the only objective of her government's activities is to ensure maximum welfare of the people, she said.
The delegation also congratulated Sheikh Hasina on forming the government through a free, fair, neutral and acceptable election.