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BD gained in sea border verdict: expert

Maritime Seminar_1

Bangladesh has gained much from the verdict over the 25,602 sq km of disputed Bay area with India, says Dr Md Kawser Ahmed, an oceanography expert who teaches at Dhaka University (DU). He termed the verdict by Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in Netherlands ‘just’. An extension of sea border means Bangladesh’s chances of exploring the bay for mineral resource has now widened. It may also enrich the fisheries sector, he said. Bangladesh was awarded 19,467 sq km out of 25,602 sq km of disputed area in the Bay by the Hague-based arbitral tribunal. PCA’s verdict now allows Bangladesh to establish its sovereign rights on more than 118,813 sq kms of territorial sea, 200 nautical miles (NM) of exclusive economic zone and all kinds of living and non-living resources under the continental shelf up to 354 NM from the Chittagong coast. Meanwhile, reacting to the PCA verdict, BNP leader Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed said Bangladesh had first made the island’s ownership claim during BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s rule. ‘It’s an integral part of Bangladesh. He (Zia) even took the issue to the international stage,’ Maj (retd) Hafiz claimed. ‘India, too, claimed ownership and both the countries had sent warships there. ‘It was not right to leave this island’s ownership,’ he remarked. The government, on the other hand, said a large area to the south of the island’s location had fallen within Bangladesh’s territory. Addressing the issue, Prof Dr Kawser Ahmed said, ‘Talpatti existed until 1985-1986 and disappeared after that. ‘One or two trees could be seen on what used to be the island four or five years back. But now, there’s nothing,’ according to

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