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Friday, December 03, 2021

November 17, 1981, Forty Years Ago: Sattar on Farakka

Speaking to newsmen immediately after he secured a majority in the presidential election, Sattar said the army’s role was limited to defending the country’s sovereignty.

By: Editorial |
November 17, 2021 3:10:20 am
Sattar, who will be formally installed as president after the election result is officially notified, said there would be no change in Bangladesh’s foreign policy.

Bangladesh acting president Abdus Sattar asserted on Monday that the army would not have any say in his government’s decision-making. Speaking to newsmen immediately after he secured a majority in the presidential election, Sattar said the army’s role was limited to defending the country’s sovereignty and added, “I do not think any other role is possible for the army.” Sattar, who will be formally installed as president after the election result is officially notified, said there would be no change in Bangladesh’s foreign policy. About India, he said that efforts were being made to solve the Farakka and other issues.

Nuclear deal

The death is likely to be announced soon — perhaps unilaterally by India — of the 18-year-old Indo-US agreement on nuclear cooperation. With the failure of the two governments to agree even on the terms in which the life of the agreement is to be cut short by about 12 years, there is apparently no other course of action left for the Indian government. It is however not certain whether the Indian announcement will be made before or after the possible visit to India by US secretary of state Alexander Haig next month. New Delhi, while declaring the agreement dead, will certainly put the onus for ending the agreement on the US, which has stopped supplying enriched uranium for the Tarapur plant, as stipulated under the agreement.

Congress unity

S S Mahapatra, general-secretary of the Congress-I, visualises the prospect of the two Congress parties coming together in Kerala, “in a common endeavour to serve the interests of the people.” Mahapatra, who would not use the term “merger”, told newsmen here on Monday, “Once unity of mind and purpose is established, the rest will follow as a matter of course.”

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