Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said on Wednesday that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ongoing visit to India has been successful.
Quader said this at a dialogue organized by Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters’ Forum (BSRF) at the Secretariat’s Media Center in the capital on Wednesday.
He cited the agreement on sharing the water of Kushiyara River as a big success.
“Yes, there has not been any deal on Tessta, but we have got Kushiyara’s water. We are not returning empty-handed,” he said adding that Dhaka and New Delhi signed seven MoUs during Hasina’s four-day visit to India from Monday.
Quader also expressed his hope that the Teesta water sharing issue will be resolved soon.
The Teesta water sharing issue, he said, has been pending due to some reservations of the chief minister of West Bengal, he observed.
“I really hope that all sides will reach a middle ground and the Teesta issue will be resolved soon,” added Quader.
Quader, also the General Secretary of the ruling AL, criticized the statement of BNP’s Secretary General about PM’s India visit and highlighted the past BNP government’s failure to discuss important national issues with India.
He claimed that during one her visits to India then-PM Khaleda Zia admitted that she had forgotten to raise the issue of water sharing problem.
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On the other hand PM Hasina has always discussed the water sharing issue with India, he said.
Quader also brushed aside the allegation that the Cabinet is weak.
“Some members of the Cabinet have come from the grassroots level. They may have some personal weakness but in general, the Cabinet isn’t weak. The weaknesses of some Cabinet members are being covered by the PM herself. That’s why the government is moving ahead swiftly without any impediments,” he said.
Replying to a question, Quader said that there shouldn’t be any age limit for politicians.
“A politician should only retire when both he and his party think that the time has come for him to step aside. Otherwise, a politician must do politics as long as he is able to do it. A person becomes a politician after dedicating his entire life in doing politics. It’ll be unfair if he isn’t allowed to do politics during his final years,” said the minister.
Tapan Bishwas, President of BSRF, presided over the dialogue. It was conducted by BSRF General Secretary Masudul Haque.