CHT quota facility must be for all tribals, non-tribals: Maj Gen Saiful Abedin

STAFF REPORTER

Major General Saiful Abedin, GOC of the 24th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army, has called for introducing a quota that applies to all living in the Chattogram Hill Tracts or CHT.

“If there is a quota, it should be for all living in the hill tracts – no matter they are tribals or non-tribals,” he said while speaking as a special guest during the launching of the APBn Regional Office in Rangamati on Thursday, May 26, 2022.

“I would like to appeal to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina through the home minister to make the quota open to all tribals and non-tribals living in the hill tracts,” he said.

He remembered that it was his drafted letter that Hansadhar Chakma had taken to Rupayan Babu across the border for talks.

“Talks always start at the bottom and it ended on December 2, 1997, when Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina completed it,” Mr Abedin said.

Sheikh Hasina-led government signed the peace accord with Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti, or PCJSS, on December 2, 1997 allowing for the recognition of the rights of the peoples and tribes of the CHT region and ending the decades-long insurgency between the PCJSS-controlled Shanti Bahini and the government forces.

Admitting that the peace accord is yet to be implemented completely, the GOC of the 24th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army said it rests with both signatories – government and PCJSS – to implement the accord.

Under the 72-section accord, the government is to implement all but two of its sections, while the PCJSS is to implement the remaining two sections alone – laying down its all arms and having its all armed cadres surrendered, he noted.

Unfortunately, though the government is implementing one section after another in a bid to completely implement the accord, the PCJSS is yet to implement the only two sections resting with them towards implementing the accord completely, he added.

“Let’s all come forward to implement the peace accord which the prime minister managed to get, as she said, ‘We have signed accord and will completely implement it,” Mr Abedin urged.

He hopes that PCJSS implements the only two sections of the accord that rest with them – laying down their arms and surrendering themselves – before the government completely implements the sections that rest with them.

“Otherwise, at any cost, we are all ready to work together against you …. We have sacrificed, we have given blood and if needed, we will give more blood,” But we will never let you succeed in satisfying your lowly intentions,” the GOC of the 24th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army vowed.

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