Dhaka Wants Delhi Pressure For Rohingya Return
Dhaka Courier|April 13, 2018

Indian foreign secretary visits Bangladesh, no development on Teesta front

Today, it is widely said that the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India are the best ever, and also described as ‘golden era’. We understand the relationship between countries, in particular neighbours, can never be excellent if there is lack of political will on either or both sides.

We note with dissatisfaction that there has been no visible progress over Teesta water sharing deal despite having many achievements in diversified areas since 2009. However, we feel fortunate to have political leaders on both sides – Prime Minister Sheikh hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi who are willing to go the extra mile to take the relationship to newer heights for the benefit of people, countries and the region.

When any significant visit takes place between Bangladesh and India, Teesta automatically comes up for discussion. People are still interested to know about the update on the issue.

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale visited Bangladesh on April 8-9 and held meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and held bilateral meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart M Shahidul Haque.

No Update on Teesta

Before his arrival in Dhaka, we knew there is no update on Teesta issue despite sincere efforts from the Indian central government. After his meeting with Shahidul Haque, Indian Foreign Secretary Gokhale they are “working hard” internally to resolve the outstanding issues with Bangladesh. “…. we are also aware of a few of the outstanding issues. We assure you we are working hard to resolve them,” he said. Teesta water sharing agreement is one of the major outstanding issues between Bangladesh and India though the Indian Foreign Secretary did not specify it.

Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said they discussed the Teesta issue in the official meeting. “I am very happy to say that the Indian government reiterated its commitment to that. They are looking at resolving this issue as soon as possible.”

Gokhale informed Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that their Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to fulfill all the commitments he made to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh and India have resolved many problems successfully through discussions. “Now one problem needs to be resolved,” Hasina said adding that she is hopeful of settling the Teesta issue, too.

The Indian Prime Minister is looking forward to holding a meeting with Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the CHOGM summit to be held in London next week.

We cannot deny that India is our most important neighbour and a key trade partner, in fact the biggest partner in South Asia. India says it remains a committed development partner of Bangladesh and it has extended lines of credit of over US$ 8 billion to Bangladesh in the last seven years. This is the largest amount of credit India has ever committed to any single country. We need to make the best use of the LOC.

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