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Implementation of CHT accord

Implementation of CHT accord
Land disputes remain the major stumbling block
The caretaker government must be thanked for resuscitating the Advisory Council of the Ministry of the Chitttagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Affairs. One would recall that as per the relevant clause of the CHT Accord of Dec 2 1997, an advisory council was formed to assist the Ministry for CHT Affairs, which was formed also under the same provision of the accord, in its implementation. It is only the third time that the advisory council has met in the last ten years, twice before during the AL regime but never during the five years of the 4-party alliance rule. It is indeed a sad commentary on the past governments’ commitment to national issues. The short shrift given to the process of the accord implementation demonstrates the cynical approach to national problems. For sometime very little was done by the BNP government ostensibly because the accord was the product of the AL government. The accord is a commitment of the State and all governments are obligated to see it fulfilled.

We are happy to note that the advisory council has taken several decisions of which by far the most important is the reactivation of the Land Commission. It is a matter of regret that the Land Commission had remained largely inactive all the three years of its existence.

There are several issues that must to be addressed and resolved before the accord can be implemented in totality, and by far the most important of these is the disputes related to land between the indigenous people and the Bangla speaking settlers.

We are into the tenth year of the CHT Accord and we are still waiting for implementation of the vital and substantive provisions of the agreement. The CHT Accord is a good example of successfully tackling a long running insurgency problem through political accommodation, which has seen end of violence and hostility in the area. However, we should be aware that permanent peace cannot be achieved in the region without full implementation of the accord. The full potential of the CHT and the people can be realised only under conditions of durable peace.

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