COMMERCE Minister Faruk Khan today refuted BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain’s claim that the Bangladesh-India trade accord was a renewal of the 1972 agreement.
“I don’t know on what basis or document the BNP gave their reaction yesterday on the bilateral trade deal with India. I am reiterating that the BNP government, during the rule of late president Ziaur Rahman in 1980 had signed the trade accord,” the commerce minister said.
Delwar yesterday said, “No new trade deal was executed during Zia’s rule. It was only renewal of the 1972 agreement, article 5 of which was never implemented as it concerned the much-debated transit issue.”
The trade agreement was first signed during the post-independence government of Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 28, 1972, Delwar said.
On the other hand, State Minister for foreign affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud also echoed the commerce minister saying, ” It has been clearly mentioned in article 8 of the trade agreement, signed in 1980 by the BNP government, that India will be allowed for transporting goods using roads, water routes and railways of Bangladesh territory.”