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22 February, 2018 12:29:21 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 February, 2018 04:26:06 PM
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Top three problems still remain between Bangladesh-India ties

Independent Online Desk
Top three problems still remain between Bangladesh-India ties

Teesta waters issue, Rohingya refugees and Assam’s citizen census remain the top three problems between India and Bangladesh despite bilateral ties having improved enormously in recent years.

As she prepares for elections, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina is banking on India to resolve the pending Teesta water-sharing accord and put pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees while ensuring their safety besides hoping that the national registration of citizens being conducted in Assam does not have a spillover effect across the border, Times of India reports.

In an interaction as she hosted Indian journalists at her Dhaka residence, Hasina assured that India, as the next door neighbour, need not be worried about Bangladesh’s growing engagement with China.

She said, “India should not worry. We want more investments and more cooperation… that is our priority, but India is our next door neighbour.

India should also have good relations with Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries so that we can all work together for the development of the entire region. I believe we have only one enemy and that is poverty and together we can fight it better.”

On West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s role in the Teesta issue as well Delhi’s stand, Hasina said, “Was saddened a bit that didi did not give waters.

When I asked for water, she gave power, so I said we should be happy with whatever we get.” She was referring to the last meeting she had with PM Modi and Banerjee during her visit to Delhi in April, 2017.

But Hasina sounded hopeful, saying, “Mamata did not say no, she said she will give. I am hopeful that it will happen.”

However, it is the Rohingya issue on which Hasina wants Modi to support Dhaka. “We want India to put more pressure on Myanmar to take back the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh and also ensure that they are safe after their return.

There are more than 10 lakh refugees who have found shelter here. It is a big risk that we took on humanitarian grounds, but the rains are coming, many women are pregnant after being raped by the Myanmar army… We definitely want India to mount pressure on Myanmar,” she said, adding, “In the meanwhile, I have asked our foreign ministry to speak to all the five countries, including India, which share borders with Myanmar to take initiative jointly to ask Myanmar to take back the refugees and keep them safe.”

Hasina said she had ensured that every refugee was photographed and got an identity card soon after reaching Bangladesh so that Myanmar couldn’t later deny that they are its citizens.

Speaking at a media conclave on India-Bangladesh ties, Bangladesh political leaders raised the issue of Rohingya and NRC in Assam and pleaded with India to act on it in keeping with the goodwill that the two countries shares at the moment, which they described as “one of the best phases”.

KK

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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