Hasina ‘selling’ Bangladesh to India to stay in power: Zia

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s opposition leader Khaleda Zia has accused Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of “selling out” the country to India to translate into reality her “dream of staying in power for life”, hours after New Delhi and Dhaka signed 22 pacts in key sectors includ­ing defence.

“Hasina dreams of remaining in power for life. She has done many things for this. She kept nothing for the country, sold everything,” Zia, former prime minister and the chief of main op­position outside parliament Bangladesh Nation­alist Party (BNP) said in a party programme on Saturday night.

Zia’s comments came hours after Hasina, who is in India on a four-day visit, and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi witnessed signing of 22 pacts in key sectors including defence and civil nuclear. Though the long-pending Teesta waters sharing agreement remained elusive, Modi conveyed his govern­ment’s commitment for an “early solution”.

“It seems that she (Hasina) will sell the rest of the country… (but) the world history says no one could get away after selling a country,” she said.

Zia, 71, and Hasina, 69, are known as the ‘Battling Begums’ for their bitter rivalry that has poisoned Bangladeshi politics for nearly three decades.