New citizenship law is internal matter of India: Hasan

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud today said the issue of new citizenship law is an internal affair of India and Bangladesh is watching it as a neighboring country.

"It is an internal affair of India and the government (of Bangladesh) is watching it as a neighboring country," he said while exchanging views with journalists at YNT Center in city's Dewanji Pukur this noon.

Hasan, also joint secretary of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), said the last general election in Bangladesh was held in a very very free and fair manner, but the United States may have a different opinion.

The Unites States can give their opinion as a few opposition parties did not participate in the election, he added.

"We respect the difference of opinion of any country. However, most countries, including the United States, have expressed their intention to advance relations with us in the future," he said.

The foreign minister said governments and heads of state of about 80 countries of the world congratulated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina after election.

"Even the President of the United States has written to the Prime Minister expressing his intention to strengthen the relationship. So, in our view we have had a very fair, free and fair election in this region," he added.

"A total of 29 political parties participated in the elections out of 44. The onus of election boycott by any particular political party does not go to the government. It is an affair of that party," he said.

The foreign minister said the United States has said that they are working to advance the partnership and relations with Bangladesh. "We are also working to advance the relationship with the United States, to make the relations closer and to expand our multi-dimensional relations," he added.

"We are working together with the US and in the international arena," he said.

About the hijacked Bangladeshi by Somali pirates, the foreign minister said, "Our main goal is to free the sailors and the ship from the hijacker."

"The government is working on this. In the past it was possible to free the ship and sailors of the same company after 100 days through the collective efforts of all. We still hope that our concerted efforts. Will bring back the sailors and the ship safely," he added.

The minister said there is no reason to increase the price of any product during the Ramadan or Eid.

The government has taken various steps so that the prices of commodities remain within the reach of the people, he said.

"Various products are being sold at fair prices on the occasion of Ramadan. One crore people are being given rice and other commodities fair prices," he said.

He urged the mass people to raise their voices against the trend of unnecessary price hike by some unscrupulous businessmen.