Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Friday said the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India has been very successful and fruitful.
"The biggest achievement (of the visit) is the opportunity to export Bangladesh's garment products to third countries free of duty using India's territory. For which Bangladesh has been trying for many years," said Hasan, also joint general secretary of Bangladesh Awami League.
Expressing his gratitude to the Prime Minister for achieving a lot for Bangladesh through a successful visit to India, Hasan said that the BNP had talked many things about this visit to India, but it should remain silent now as the visit has been successful, reports BSS.
"BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul will say something today or tomorrow. Though the Prime Minister's visit has been a very good and fruitful one," he added.
The minister said these as chief guest while addressing Bangladesh Journalists' Welfare Trust cheque distribution ceremony at S Rahman Hall of Chattogram Press Club (CPC) on Friday noon.
Chattogram Union of Journalists (CUJ) President Mohammad Ali presided over the function while Managing Director of Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust Subhash Chandra Badal, CPC President Ali Abbas, Member of Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust Kalim Sarwar, Vice President of BFUJ Shahidul Alam, General Secretary of CPC Chowdhury Farid and General Secretary of CUJ Shamsul Islam, among others, addressed the function.
The minister said whatever Bangladesh got from India was achieved by Awami League and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina while Khaleda Zia had forgotten to talk about the proper sharing of Ganges water when she visited the neighbouring country.
He said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman made an agreement in 1974 and "the enclaves were supposed to be handed over to us under the treaty."
"Our relationship with India is based on equity. Our government has taken everything from India. In 1974, the Enclave Agreement was signed. No one could bring that enclave under our control except the AL government," he added.
BNP was in power for several years while Ershad was also in power, but none could realize those enclaves and there were no identities of the thousands of people living in those enclaves, he added.
The AL government under the supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had realized the enclaves after many decades of the agreement and the size of the country (Bangladesh) has increased, he said.
"In fact, our relations with India are excellent, this has been elevated to new heights under the leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Janonetri Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The relation is to create the opportunity to export the products of Bangladesh duty-free to third countries by using the land area of India," the information minister said.
Terming Journalist Welfare Trust a place of hope for journalists across the country, the minister said if a journalist dies, his family is given a one-time Tk 300,000.
"If a journalist is sick, he is given Tk fifty thousand to two lakh. No country in this sub-continent, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal, provided such support to journalists during the Corona period," he added.
A total of 4,000 journalists have been supported by the government through the Journalist Welfare Trust so far, he added.
Hasan said Bangabandhu's daughter has established the Bangladesh Journalist Welfare Trust considering the demand for journalists.
"Later, the Prime Minister said, I don't know how long I will stay in power, I want to make a permanent arrangement for the journalist community. Accordingly, the Journalist Welfare Trust law was passed by parliament. The government gives grants every year. An opportunity to accept donations from well-wishers is also kept here," he said.
Hasan Mahmud said, "We never consider anyone's party or opinion in the distribution of welfare trust checks."
"I belong to the party, I am the minister of the party government, but when I am performing the duties of the state, I try to see everyone with two eyes equally, so that everyone gets the support of the state. Those who stand in front of the Press Club and raise their voices against us, we have also helped them from the Trust," the broadcasting minister said.
He said, "Sometimes we see that there is an attempt to spread confusion in Bangladesh by taking advantage of the situation in the world."
"Some newspapers and electronic media are trying to create confusion among people by hiding the world situation and exaggerating the situation in Bangladesh. This is nothing new. Even when we started the construction of Padma Bridge, they had also spread confusion," he added.
Hasan requested the journalist leaders across the country, including Dhaka-Chattogram, and every media house to arrange group insurance for journalists as per the Wage Board.
Later, the information minister handed over cheques of assistance to 36 journalists of Chattogram.