Thursday, February 20, 2020 | ePaper

We have to see positive results in our relations with India

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INDIAN External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday reconfirmed his government's stance on most-hyped Teesta water-sharing treaty that remained "unchanged" and "mutually acceptable formula" for sharing water of 54 common rivers. The three-day visit of the top Indian envoy has taken place at a time when the Indian government is under pressure at home and abroad for its unilateral cancelation of Kashmir autonomy status.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said he would discuss the LoC projects, expenditures and barriers for implementation of those projects, if any, and identify efforts to expedite the implementation process during the meeting with his Indian counterpart.
A fair share of the Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially during the dry season. The two countries failed to sign a deal during the then Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in 2011 due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. However, a secretary-level meeting in early August had decided to work on water-sharing and basin management of seven rivers -- the Manu, Muhuri, Khowai, Feni, Gumti, Dharla, and the Dudhkumar.
The depletion of water in the rivers have already laid impact on the agriculture, fishing, and livelihood of thousands in bordering country and triggered the desertification process in the riverine Bangladesh. Despite allowing water and road transit and transshipment, and enclave exchange with a view to giving better facilities to India, Bangladesh comparatively gained a little, especially about the sharing waters of common rivers, including Teesta.
Under the present Bangladesh government, the government of India is sure of all cooperation. Our foreign minister has said the relationship has reached a height. It is not for our people to know how high is that height is for our government. The people know that some projects are not progressing because of the financing as promised, is not coming from the government of India.

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