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Ticfa accord challenged

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Staff reporter
A public interest litigation writ petition was filed with the High Court on Wednesday challenging the legality of ‘Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa)’ signed between Bangladesh and the United States.
After nine days of signing of the Ticfa, four lawyers including Nasiruddin, SM Ariful Islam and Monirul Islam Khan jointly filed the PIL writ petition.
On November 25, Dhaka and Washington signed the much-talked-about deal -- Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum Agreement (Ticfa) -- in Washington, which the government thinks will help expand trade and investment between Bangladesh and the USA through enhanced cooperation. The agreement enabled the countries to establish a ‘Forum’ with representatives from both parties to discuss opportunities and interests of bilateral trade and investment, and identify and work to remove impediments to the areas of trade and investment. The petitioners sought a court rule upon the government asking it why the Ticfa will not be declared illegal.
They also sought a court stay order on the operation of the impugned agreement until disposal of the writ.
Six people, including the US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Cabinet Division Secretary and Prime Minister’s Secretary have been made respondents to the petition.
Barrister Moksedul Islam, the counsel for the PIL petitioners, said the agreement was signed through creating pressure on the government of Bangladesh.

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