by Our Correspondent in Dhaka;-
The new Indian envoy on Thursday categorically stated he had his government’s mandate to find solutions to unresolved issues but on sharing of the water of Teesta river he had no clear message but only said “wait and see”.
Asked about the sharing of waters of the Teesta river, he evaded a direct answer but hinted that his government would be settling major unresolved bilateral issue.
“What I can tell you is that I have come here with a clear intention and a clear mandate from my leadership to work as hard as I can to ensure that every issue we find mutually acceptable solutions, what those are I am afraid, you will have to wait and see.” Vikram Kumar Doraiswami said
Doraiswami began his mission in Bangladesh Thursday by meeting the press after presenting his credentials to President Abdul Hamid. He affirmed he had the mandate from his government to find solutions to unresolved bilateral issues.
In his maiden press meet, the new Indian envoy, who arrived in Dhaka on Monday, narrated Bangladesh-India relations with a firm note that it “is, was and will always be a very special”.
The relationship is based on shared sacrifice, shared history and culture, and on the uniquely close ties of kinship, he said recognising urgency of further nursing of the relations between the two neighbours.
Bangladesh and India have resolved their most pressing issues, including the implementation of 1974 Mujib-Indira land boundary agreement, in the past decade. But the issue of Teesta remained unresolved despite the fact that a deal was at the final stage ready for signing early this decade.
But, India abruptly pulled out from the potential deal agreed by Dhaka and New Delhi during the then Prime Minister Monmohan Sing’s Dhaka visit in September 2011 over West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s objection.
Since then the issue was discussed time and again at various levels, but found no headway yet. Dhaka has been expecting New Delhi to sincerely come forward to resolve the issue to further strengthen the bilateral ties.
In 2016, Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China to take up a $1 billion project called Teesta River Comprehensive Management and Restoration apparently to tackle its own problem being arising out of the water deficiency. But, the move is seemingly caused dip in Bangladesh-India relations.
Bangladesh expects an early solution to the water sharing in the Teesta, a transboundary river that originated in the Himalaya to travel to Bangladesh through India.
The other contentious issue is of merciless killing of Bangladeshi nationals by the Indian guards on the border despite the two sides always talk about zero casualty and use of non-lethal weapons at the frontier.
The new envoy too assured that he would work towards bringing the casualty on the border to zero.
He also talked about cooperation in tackling the global pandemic of novel coronavirus, introduction of on a special “Air Bubble” arrangement to resume aviation, celebration of Bangladesh’s golden jubilee, 50 years of Bangladesh-India diplomatic relations.
newsnextbd.com/reporting by Nazrul Islam