No point providing land to India for Agartala airport: BNP

No point providing land to India for Agartala airport: BNP

Agency News

Dhaka, Aug 20: In the backdrop of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar's first visit to Bangladesh, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Monday said there is no reason for the country to provide its land to India in Brahmanbaria to expand Agartala airport.

BNP also said that their party is not ‘optimistic’ about getting any positive outcome to resolve the outstanding problems with India from the visit of the minister. "There have been media reports about it (India’s desire to use Bangladeshi land in Brahmanbaria). We are closely observing the matter," said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Earlier, the Indian government has sought 52 acres of land from Bangladesh to expand the runway of Agartala's Maharaja Bir Bikram airport. The two-and-a-half kilometre runway of the airport is situated at the edge of the border with Bangladesh and the work is underway to convert the MBB Airport into an international airport.

Mr Alamgir further said, "Bangladesh government has not agreed yet, and there is no question about providing any land. There’s no reason to give our land to any other country." "We have been hearing for 10-12 years that the Awami League government’s relation with India reached the highest level, but we still didn’t get the fair share of water from the Teesta River. Border killing could not be stopped as no step has been taken to remove the trade deficit with India," he said.

The BNP leader said that none of Bangladesh's pending issue with India has so far been resolved. “But India solved its own problems with us. That is why we cannot be optimistic and we also don’t expect much from this visit”, he added. (UNI)