Solve water sharing problem, Bangladesh urges India

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AGARTALA - Bangladesh is keen to resolve the problems of water sharing and basin management of 54 common rivers and to sign an extradition treaty with India, its Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said here Thursday.

“We have no problems in signing an extradition treaty with India. The existing law also permits handing over of any wanted person or prisoner to each other’s country,” Moni told reporters before leaving for Dhaka after a two-day Tripura visit.

She said that her government has been asking India for basin-wise management of all the 54 common rivers. “In 40 years we have signed agreement for one river (Ganges), (and) are on the verge of doing another one — an interim treaty on Teesta’s waters.”

“At this rate the two neighbours would need ‘a millennium’ to sign deals on 54 common rivers,” Moni said adding that both the countries should have to protect the lives and properties of lakhs of people leaving alongside these rivers in the two countries.

“In view of the climate change, we have to protect the rivers also for the protection of our environment and future generations.”

Regarding use of Bangladeshi territory by terrorists of northeast India, she said: “Our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had already announced the Bangladesh government’s policy that not even an inch of its territory would be allowed to be used by any forces detrimental for our neighbours.”

Moni, who came here Wednesday, addressed a business summit and laid the foundation stone of India-Bangladesh Maitri Uddan in south Tripura.

She said that both New Delhi and Dhaka had already agreed last year to resolve the problems of 162 disputed enclaves - 111 enclaves fall in Indian side and 51 in Bangladesh.

According to the minister, the Joint Boundary Working Group (JBWG) of Bangladesh and India is holding two-day talks in New Delhi to address the long-pending boundary disputes.

“I have learned that the JBWG meeting was very fruitful and we want to resolve the undemarcated borders’ problem at the earliest,” she added.

About the stand by the Bangladeshi opposition parties against providing transit by that country and allowing India to use the Bangladeshi ports, Moni said: “Every political party should have realistic approach. In the era of globalisation, connectivity and mutual cooperation is urgently needed.”

Moni said China has expressed its willingness to provide all out support to Bangladesh in building Cox’s Bazar Sonadia deep-sea port and constructing a highway from Chittagong port city to Kunming in China via Myanmar. “Talks are on in this regard.”

“We want all our neighbours including India should help to build this port and take advantage of the logistically important port,” Moni added.

Filed under: Economy

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