Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Professor Dr Gowher Rizvi today sought acknowledgment of special features of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in adopting policies saying all procedures suitable for plain land might not go well with the rugged region.
"Differences between plain land and hills are not well understood," he told the launching of a monograph on CHT at Hotel Radisson here.
Rizvi added: "Nothing could help develop the hills by imposing same policy and same solution of plain land ignoring the culture, heritage, history and views of people of there."
Rizvi, an academic by background with expertise in internati0nal politics and governance, acknowledged the need for taking into consideration the hill people's culture, heritage, history and ecology in implementing any development project in CHT.
CHT Affairs ministry and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) jointly prepared the monograph titled "Sustainable Development in Chittagong Hill Tracts: Inclusive Growth and Prosperous Society" coinciding with the 19th anniversary of landmark CHT Peace Accord.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sent a message to the function saying "successful implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in CHT will require special focus and context specific approaches".
Echoing the premier's message Rizvi said the region deserved special attention as it still lacked progress in some areas including poverty line, infrastructures, education and climate change programmes.
Rizvi assured the function that the government would implement the CHT Peace Agreement in entirety as soon as possible to establish permanent peace in the region.
"Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had signed the peace accord, and she is now going ahead with her strong commitment and courage to implement it," he said.
State Minister for CHT affairs Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, ICIMOD Director General Dr David James Molden and ICIMOD Director Dr Eklabya Sharma addressed the functions with CHT Affairs Secretary Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura in the chair.
An ICIMOD expert on economic and livelihood affairs Dr Golam Rasul presented a keynote speech at the business session of the function saying historically the CHT remained as a "disadvantaged area" while it was faced with specific challenges due to geographic and socio-cultural differences.
"The CHT areas have insecurity of food and nutrition as around 47 percent children in the region are underweight," he said.
Rasul suggested steps to ensure balanced development of CHT in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and livestock to promote "farming of nutrition-rich traditional corps" alongside improved health services, food security and nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation.
Noted economist and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad presided over the session.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)