Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed secret security deal with India

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist party, has alleged that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina signed "a secret security deal" during her visit to India.

Jamaat’s Ameer (chief) Maulana Matiur Rahman Nizami was repeating the charge made Sunday by main opposition leader, Khaleda Zia.         

Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party and the Jamaat are part of an alliance that shared power 2001-06. They lost the December 2008 election to a Hasina-led 14 party alliance.        

Nizami claimed that all the three agreements with India were signed to preserve India’s interest, adding: "We are left with no choice but to move against the government. We urge all political parties, Olama-Mashaek (Islamic leaders), professionals, intellectuals, students and workers to join us in waging a tough movement."        

Asked about the alleged secret deal, Nizami said he came to know about it from a newspaper.         

"A secret deal has been sealed between the two governments and, therefore, it is not possible for others to know about it," said Nizami.        

Nizami said the Jamaat would launch a movement against the deals signed with India.        

"The Bangladesh-India joint communiqué is against the interest of people. It is a conspiracy to destroy the country’s economy once and for all. This will make our country dependent and turn it into an open market for India," Nizami was quoted as saying by The Daily Star newspaper.        

In his written statement, Nizami said: "Allowing India to use our seaports will create security threat for the country. Indian army will intrude into Bangladesh in the name of securing transport of goods. This will put our independence and security at risk."         

"It is certain that India will use Chittagong and Mangla ports for military purposes if a conflict starts between India and China," he added.        

–Indo-Asian News Service

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