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  Sheikh Hasina Pleases Her Master USA by handing over 5,158 square kilometers of Bangladesh to Energy Giant ConocoPhillips

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

On 16th June, 2011 the government of Sheikh Hasina has handed over 5,158 square kilometers (1,992 square miles) of Bangladesh territory to American energy giant ConocoPhillips by signing a controversial and un-Islamic production-sharing contract with the said company to explore gas in the unexplored deep waters of the Bay of Bengal. This is the second time this government has allowed foreign multinationals to operate in the offshore gas field after another controversial and anti-state contract on 16th May, 2011 with Australian oil giant Santos International to allow sale of gas to foreign buyers. The total estimated reserve of offshore gas field is 14 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, which is more than 90% of the country's entire existing gas reserve. With this contract the government of Sheikh Hasina has fulfilled one of its most important obligations towards America in exchange of American consent for a US-British-Indian compromise deal that lead to Hasina's sweeping election victory back in 2008.


Bangladesh has been endowed with huge energy resources including high quality gas, coal, uranium and lithium. From 1965 onward the state run Petrobangla had been successfully managing the production and distribution of gas through its subsidiary Titas for household consumption, industrial usage and for the production of fertilizer and electricity. In fact almost 83% of the entire electricity production uses gas as the raw material. The success of Titas in constant supply of gas for the above uses has been quite remarkable. However, during the previous tenure of Hasina (from 1996-2001) and thereafter the period of Khaleda Zia (from 2001-2006) foreign companies especially US, European and Indian companies (and governments) aggressively pushed the BD government to allow them to engage in Bangladeshi gas sector. These companies, the BD government and the paid intellectuals overstated the actual gas reserve of the country even up to 40 TCF to 50 TCF to sell a theory that, the country has enough gas reserve and can sell the gas to foreign countries. The ultimate objective was to seduce the public opinion and nullify any public outrage to allow US, European and Indian energy multinationals to engage in exploration, production, distribution and sale of gas within and outside the country. Thus the engagement of Occidental (US), and Chevron (US), Nico (Canadian Company), Asian Energy (UK), Cairn Energy (UK), etc in the BD gas sector begun. The entire country has been divided into 23 blocks with 6 offshore blocks to allow these foreign companies work in the exploration, production, distribution of gas. However, these companies had disastrous effect on the future of Bangladeshi gas sector with Nico and Occidental engaging in major accidents where more than $725 million worth gas has been set on fire, not to mention the environmental catastrophe!


After the 2001 elections, Sheikh Hasina publicly advocated that, "I could not come to power in 2001 general election because, I have not agreed to pledge the resources of the country to foreign companies". This is the cruel reality of the democratic system. The rulers openly proclaim the domination of the imperialists over the political process of country! Anyway, whatever nonsense Hasina utters in self-glorification of her patriotism, the reality is these rulers have no sincerity to the country, nor do they have an iota of courage to stand up to the imperial powers.

 
During the western and army backed caretaker government of former World Bank servant Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed the American companies continued their demand for not only to engage into the exploration, production and distribution of gas in Bangladesh, but also to allow them to sell the gas either to local third party or to foreign buyers. The government of Dr. Fakhruddin in 2008 under the dictates of US ambassador James F. Moriarty finally re-formulated the standard PSC (Production Sharing Contract) to allow the foreign companies to explore and sell gas even to third parties. In 2010 the government of Hasina formulated the "National Gas Policy 2010" with provision for companies to sell the gas even to foreign companies. Thus Santos International of Australia and now ConocoPhillips of USA have been given this permission.


The agreement between ConocoPhillips guarantees that the company will receive 80% of the gas while Bangladeshi government i.e. Petrobangla will receive only 20% of the gas! Moreover according to the contract Petrobangla can purchase any amount of gas from ConocoPhillips up to 100% at international market price, which is almost 290% of the current local market price!! Still Sheikh Hasina in a public gathering has questioned the allegiance for the country of those who opposes this contract. Moreover, in her she questioned the countrymen, "who is the most patriotic people of the country?", then she herself (!) replied that "I am the most patriotic person of the country!"


Indeed the Ummah of Bangladesh questions Hasina if Khaleda Zia back in 2001 came to power by pledging the resources of the country to foreign companies, then how much more have you promised to give away to return to power in the 2008 election? Indeed your pledge of land, sea and air transit to India, your collaboration with the Indian plot to destroy Muslim army of Bangladesh, your consent to Indian Tipakimukh Barrage which will deforest almost 20% of the entire country, the adoption of secular education policy 2010, the enactment of the un-Islamic national women development policy 2011, banning Islamic political parties and hijab, awarding USA the only Navy base of the country BNS Isha Khan, allowing USA to have a military base and airport in Coxes Bazaar, allowance of two CIA bases in Bangladesh and now the allowance to ConocoPhillips to sell our gas to foreign market clearly speaks for what you have pledged to USA, UK and India, who in a compromise deal as reported by Wikileaks brought you to power! The people of the country question if we have to buy our own gas at international price then what logic pushed you to plunder our resources while we could use our money to buy the same from other countries! Indeed the motivation is nothing other than the competition between you and your rival Khaleda Zia in clinging on to power. The contract has been signed just when Khaleda Zia has paid a visit to the US just two weeks earlier! Thus you are trying to reinforce the confidence of the Americans on you. Indeed with the return of Khilafah "Caliphate", such contracts will be made null and void as per the Shari'ah requirement and you will be brought to justice and punished for your treachery with the Ummah!


Jafar Muhammad Abu Abdullah
Dhaka, Bangladesh

 

 

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