Welcome! Indian Prime Minister

Kh.A.Saleque.

Kh.A.Saleque.

On the backdrop of global recession triggered by US Credit crisis, prolonged uncertainties in the Arab World- Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is to going to make a couple of days  state visit to Bangladesh from 6th September 2011. Indian Government has just placed a strong anti corruption bill in Indian Parliament from insistence of one Mr. Anna Hazare. Senior Bangladeshi Ruling Alliance Members of the Parliament demanded actions against failed cabinet members in better management of some pressing issues strongly related to citizens’ welfare. So the time of Indian PM’s visit to Bangladesh is extremely critical to the interests of these two countries as well as to regional peace and prosperity. Entire SAARC region and the rest of the world are looking forward to the visit and possible positive outcomes.

India is the lone emerging world power in the SAARC region. Good friendly neighborly relation based mutual trust and respect of sovereign equality is extremely essential for peaceful coexistence for all nations of South Asian countries. Bangladesh and India have some irritants, some issues which soured their relation since the 15th August 1975 – the black day in the life of Bangladeshi nation and history. Misguided military rulers seizing power through backdoor and polluting politics with money and muscle; and thriving on cheap anti Indian sentiment back pedaled the Bangladeshi nation. Anti Liberation forces were rehabilitated, religion was used as way to exploit people and unnecessary issues were harbored causing extreme miseries for the people of Bangladesh. On the other hand imprudent Indian beauracrats and some communal Indian politicians also misguided Indian policy makers in depriving Bangladesh from some legitimate rights. Consequently several issues like water sharing, boundary disputes [Land and Maritime] and trade imbalances caused profuse bleeding of bilateral relations. It is really unfortunate that majority of Bangladeshis possess genuine apprehension about Indian attitude towards Bangladesh while Indians in 1971 made such massive contribution for the liberation of Bangladesh. We hope Indian policy makers could realize what Bangladesh wants and what is the way forward to normalize the relations.

Water Sharing: Bangladesh economy is agro based and our agriculture is largely dependent on supply of water throughout the year in major rivers and tributaries. Almost all of our rivers either originate from India or flows through India before entering Bangladesh and flows across Bangladesh before flowing into the Bay of Bengal. Due to unilateral Indian actions depriving Bangladesh of its lower riparian right many such rivers have almost died and rest are in the process of extinction. There is Joint River Commission (JRC) and the commission sits in regular meetings. But in the last 40 years since independence other than Ganges water sharing agreement signed during last term of Awami League led government sharing of other river waters could not be agreed. We hope that India and Bangladesh could realize the issues and challenges. In the recent past meetings between Bangladesh and India focused on Dam and barrages at Tipaimukh. Bangladeshi parliamentary delegation headed by veteran politician Abdur Razzak visited Tipaimukh and met responsible Indian ministers and policy makers. None other than Indian PM assured that anything- harms Bangladesh will not be done by India at Tipaimukh. Bangladeshis now want clear commitment about the assurance of Indian Prime Minister. We do not want our Surma, Kushiara; Manu Rivers die from Indian one-sided action at Tipaimukh. The equitable sharing of Teesta River water is another major irritant. We hope that a water sharing agreement of Teesta River based on equality will be settled during the ensuing visit of Indian PM. We have heard that sharing of Feni River water is also included as a part of the package. We hope Bangladesh will not be asked to sacrifice its legitimate right in any such agreement.

Boundary Disputes: Ever since the partition of India in 1947, some disputes in marking of borders between India and Pakistan in eastern region, existed. Mujib–Indira agreement vowed to resolve these after emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. Unfortunately no government of India and Bangladesh made sincere efforts to resolve these disputes. Bangladesh and India must exchange the enclaves on the basis of Mujib–Indira agreement. Both India and Bangladesh possess some lands belong to other. We hope on the basis of credible survey such lands will be exchanged. It is also expected that a meaningful agreement to this effect with specific timeline and action plan will be included in the agreement.

Bangladesh and India have entered into arbitration on maritime boundary disputes in the Bay of Bengal. India is exploring for Petroleum resources in the Bay of Bengal for several years but as soon as Bangladesh planned to explore in its own deep water Indians vehemently objected. Bangladesh had to enter into arbitration due to stubborn attitudes of India in resolving this issue through bilateral discussions while the matter may be resolved through arbitration. But it may take several years. If both party respect international norms there are still opportunity to resolve it through bilateral discussion or this will remain an apple of discord for several years. We hope summit meeting will reach some positive decisions on this matter.

Exchanging Criminals and Combating Crimes:

For several years now criminals and terrorists of one country are finding safe haven in other country and are carrying out their crimes through their planted agents. Two countries’ must make a fresh vow of not sheltering any such criminals and let any place of their land to be used for carrying out subversive activities against others. In the recent past Bangladesh government made crack down on Indian insurgents inside Bangladesh and pushed back several such separatists. Bangladesh government is working on a trial of suspects involved in a massive arms haul through Bangladesh for Indian separatists. But India has so far failed to reciprocate the gesture. Many noted Bangladeshi terrorists including the killers of Bangabandhu, the father of nation, are reportedly hiding in India. One hopes that India will guarantee that it will make everything possible in not letting anyone do any subversive activities sheltering in India.

Border Killings:

Despite serious reservations of Bangladeshi Indian Border security force continues to kill and torture innocent Bangladeshis at the border. Senior Indian policy makers made repeated assurances. But that has not worked so far. Indian economy is in no way doing better than Bangladesh that people will move to India for job seeking. Only smugglers may try to go across. But why BSF should resort to killings? Setting up of barbed wire fencing along the border is disgrace for a might neighbor. Bangladesh can never dream of an armed confrontation with India. India started the process of mistrust and disbelief the day it started setting up barbed wire fencing. We hope India will realize these mistakes. Barbed wire fences will remain an irritant in India Bangladesh relation especially when it is seeking transit across Bangladesh to link its eastern and western region.

Transit and Regional Connectivity:

Bangladesh has genuine concern here

a)    Many Bangladeshis believe that India may try to transport military hard ware’s using this transit routes to combat insurgencies which may make Bangladesh exposed to Indian separatists groups active in Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram.

b)    Bangladeshi roads and highways, railways and waterways, ports are far from ready to absorb massive flow of transit traffic. It will take several years and huge investment to handle transit traffic. There must be credible feasibility study with transparent benefit cost ratio before bringing in transit into play. Present Bangladesh road infrastructure is even not suitable enough for our own needs. Situation of railway is even worse. Bangladeshi rivers lack navigability in all season primarily due to Indian unilateral actions of withdrawing and diverting water on the upstream.

c)    Transit tariff has not yet been decided. Let Bangladesh create infrastructure to handle additional traffic load emanating from regional connectivity. Let all these costs get included in the feasibility study. If our earnings through job creation and tariff make the proposition profitable we believe no one will object to Bangladesh being part of regional connectivity.

d)    Bangladesh is supposed to have unhindered connectivity with Nepal and Bhutan through Indian Territory. Are we getting it? Can Nepalese and Bhutanese trucks carrying commodities enter Bangladesh without hustles through Indian Territory?

All the above issues must be positively resolved before entering into or renewing any transit treaty with India.

Trade Imbalance:

Bangladesh suffers from huge trade imbalance with India. Indian goods of any quality, good or bad- enter Bangladesh legally or illegally, almost uninterrupted. There are no questions of quality control. But Bangladeshi trade commodities have to undergo various tariff and non tariff barriers. Examples are dirty polluting Indian coal which even India does not use is pushed into Bangladesh and Bangladesh unfortunately accepts the high sulfur and high ash coal. Pro Indian Environmentalists and agitators find dirty Indian Coal more acceptable than allowing economic mining of own superior quality coal. Government of Bangladesh also remains silent. On the other hand our cement, our pharmaceuticals, Rahimafrooz batteries have to face various barriers in entering Indian market. We hope summit meeting will address all these matters.

It is very encouraging that present government of Bangladesh has taken historic initiative to resolve all outstanding issues with India. It is for the mutual interests of both the countries that all issues are resolved without further delay for peaceful coexistence. But all mistrusts and confusions must be done away with through mutual respect of sovereign equality. Bangladesh must come out of its inferiority complex and Indians must abandon its ‘take all and share nothing’ attitude. Let the visit of PM Dr. Manmohan usher a new era in Indo-Bangla relations. Let it set the trend of greater integration of SAARC region. A peaceful SAARC region is so essential for the continued economic development and poverty alleviation of billions of helpless people of the region. All professionals have meeting of minds. It only needs political will and strong fellow feeling at the summit level to make things happen. We welcome Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Bangladesh with lots of hope and ambitions.


29 Responses to “Welcome! Indian Prime Minister”

  1. John

    Bangladesh need to shed its Jihadi culture inherited from Paki’s mentality of conquerring India by the use of Jihadi mercenaries created by them and move on in the world by accepting the common past and peacefull nature of the Indian pihilosophy and culture. Pakistan is past and a non-entity nation, by ditching that past Bangladesh will grow even faster (it is growing faster than Pakiland now) and become as good as the growth story of India. Its only podssible with the close ties with the liberator of Bangladesh from tyraney (Bagladesh was raped by Punjabi-Sindhi coalition called Pakiland since its creation up to 1971) of Pak-Arab mentality.

  2. JJJackxon

    It is most unfortunate that India’s contribution to the freedom of Bangladesh in 1971 has been obscured by Indian bureacratic bumbling and the interference of right wing Military and Islamic forces within Bangladesh. India cannot allow any Bangladeshi-based terror or anti-India activity to take root, including increasing the influence of a hostile China. Other than that, India should accommodate as many Bangladeshi interests as possible. Prosperity through economic integration of the Indian North-East, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh and North Burma should be India’s main focus. Bangladesh can be a great asset for India. It is time India made that goal a priority of its foreign policy.

  3. Gopal

    Great and practical article! What is puzzling as an Indian citizen, is the unnecessary distance between bangladesh and india, and bangladeshis and indians! The vast majority of indians have loads of goodwill towards bangladesh, and as a big federal nation, indians on the whole are astute and pragmatic enough to give a little more to bangladesh than take from them (e.g. in trade and aid and this will be perfectly acceptable politically in most of india!! so its high time we got on with it, and only confirm what we know! almost all bangladeshis i have met in india or overseas seemed nice, sensible and gentlemanly ( or gentlewomanly) and really i would be hard put to differentiate them from our bengali people!!

  4. Sheikh Zia

    ” New Delhi, Sept4 (bdnews24.com) – India’s Congress-led coalition government is trying to evolve a political consensus over the deals New Delhi is set to ink with Dhaka during prime minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh beginning on Tuesday.

    Singh is understood to have discussed with the top leaders of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party about the agreements that India and Bangladesh would ink and the announcements he and his counterpart prime minister Sheikh Hasina would make during the visit.” —-Unfortunately no such efforts were made by our PM, Sheikh Hasina. Based on what’s reported so far, one is led to believe that almost everything is being co-ordinated by the PM’s advisors..NOT incharge of ministries…pretty sad indeed. I only hope that the signed agreements will be published ……

  5. Akhond

    Well Mr Sheikh Zia,it would be indeed a very good move for Sheikh Hasina to talk with the opposition leader Khalida Zia.
    But we don’t have that culture of talking to each other for national issues,the mutual animosity between the prime minister and the opposition leader is legendary & is the main obstacle for that.
    For example khaleda is busy how to start a political movement, hartals to get back her cantomment house , to bring back her sons.
    Zia made an Constitutional amendment where the trial of that killing was “lawfully prohibited”. 21 years, no one could demand the trial of such a mass killing.
    Talking about animosity? Why khaleda zia celebrates her fake birthday on 15th august where as the BAL remembering the killing of Bangobondhu Sk Mujib.

    BAL is busy how to eliminate the role of Zia in our liberation war.
    In such a scenario how do you expect Hasina to talk to Khaleda on any issue as there will be a very big “NO” from Khaleda jus because of personal animosity.
    If Khaleda was the priminister the same would happen, no talking to Hasina.

    As long as these two ladies are active in politics, nothing will that sort
    happen. More maturity is needed & you won’t get that form those” Bangladesh is my dad’s property” or “My hubby’s property” type immature silly ladies.
    But India has got no such problem & thats why the opposition & the ruling party maintain a least amount of communication on any national issues.

  6. MOLLA A.LATIF

    While Bangladesh is going through severe shiverings of pre-eid transportation problems to convey the home bound people to their destinations, cracks or what has been reported in the media – the craters on the Highways for want of maintenance, war of words between the Communication Minister and the Finance Minister, quakes in the short run parliament session, Eid festival, Messi fever, the threat of the wise opposition and not the least the visit of the Idian Prime Minister, this article by Khondkar A. Saleque, welcoming him to Bangladesh obviously drew our attention while usually going through the pages of this tabloid. We have no reservations to thank the author after going through it for his love for his own country. When the politicians of the country are trying to find the holes and put needles in them taking this august visit of the Indian PM and the leakages in the Wikileaks as if those were divine revealations, this author has shown that the country is above all and personal interest or party interest or interest of a particular leader. He has dealt comprehensively with the relation of the two neighbouring countries from the emergence of Bangladesh todate and trully tried to elucidate the ups and downs in the going process. He has very partinently mentioned the resposibilities of India being greater and its lackings too in discharging those according to international laws and doplomatic norms too least to talk of brotherly neighbour. As for Bangladesh he has tried to defend his country’s immaturity very carefully but his efforts for doing it without any prejudice to any one cannot be over emphased to be appreciated wile the tall talking politicians and intellectuals of Bangladesh are very nacked to evaluate the relations negatively. His positive and equitable approach to gain most from the visit and furthering the relations is highly laudable. We appreciate it. May be the antagonists will pre-empt the faults of their own Govt. before the time is ripe for the actions and banking on the disclosures of the Wikileaks, but they will never think that things are not always like that as they think. The reports of the Wikileaks are not divine revealations and what the US ambassador wrote to his masters cannot be taken as ultimate but may be treated as eventual for Bangladesh. This should not be banked upon by the Bangladeshis to cut their own legs if they are patriots. Here we want to measure the patriotism of this author in balance with patriotism of those stalwarts who had been dancing with wedding music of the Wikileaks and no patriot joined them. This author has shown that we must be resolute or unyielding to realise our rights and his patriotism is above all for the country. He has pointed out almost all the problems with India requiring attention such as Demarcation of borders, solvation of disputed lands, border killings, water sharing, trade imbalance, transit and regional co-operation which was the job of the politicians and the intellectuals of the country. This is a very good and timely article by the author and we appreciate him for this.

  7. Sheikh Zia

    Dear Mr. Akhond, Practice will make it a culture and we got to start it someday..but I do agree to most of what you said. Both the leaders are over 60 and one can expect them to be more understanding at this age…but you are right ..” Aamra faisha gechi…” .

    I do appreciate Mr. Saleque’s effort of this article. I also expect this visit will review the joint communique published in Jan 2010 post Sheikh Hasina’s visit as a base document. It was a 51 point communique containing many many issues and agreements including all those Mr. Saleque pointed. It’s not that issues are not known, it’s willingness to get it done. Border disputes, Water sharing , Security concerns are all very old issues, just dragging on. JRC was established 37 years back. We have 54 common rivers and inconclusive agreement only on ONE !!! Yes, it’s willingness to do what is the concern.

    Clause 21 of Jan 2010 communique said ” Both Prime Ministers agreed on the need to amicably demarcate the maritime boundary between India and Bangladesh……” In reality what happened is very different than agreed. It’s with UN arbritration court now. How much of sea area at stake ? It’s any body’s guess,if not in thousands it’s hundreds of square kilometers.

    We surely don’t want to see all the agreements to end this way. Yes, we are looking forward to Mr.Singh’s visit and would like to see a progress report on Jan 2010 communique.

  8. Shahriar Javed

    This is a historic trip by the Indian premier to Bangladesh. We have a lot of expectations from our giant neighbor. I am sure India will be considerate and sign pacts that would be more favourable to Bangladesh. India has already granted a $USD 1 billion soft loan to Bangladesh. I a very hopeful of the visit.

    @ Mollah Latif: Please do not indulge in yellow journalism. This was indeed the most peaceful Eid for commuters traveling to their hometowns in spite of the disaster predicted by the media and people like Mullah Latif. The communcations and maritime ministries arranged so many rail and launch services that people reached their destinations without any accidents on time and people hardly felt shortage of bus services.These Jamaat-e-Islami war criminal propagandaists are out in force to trumpet BNP’s anti-Indian stance.

    Wikileaks revelations are becoming more and more questionable. Why has Abul Hossain been targeted by the coterie that is behind these so called ‘leaks’? The answer is quite simple. Abul Hossain’s preference for Chinese and Indian involvement in building Bangladesh’s infrastructure is disliked by that particular vested interest group. I hope to see more ‘leaks’ on Moriarty’s ‘secret’ despatches to Washington on the whereabouts of fugitive assassins of Bangabandhu and FBI and CIA’s findings on the assassination attempt on Sheikh Hasina on August 21, 2004 during BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami misrule. Recent stories have substantiated CIA’s close links with Gaddafi`s secret police that also had close ties with the killers of Bangabandhu. I am sure Wikileaks `leaks`can easily pinpoint the location of these killers and at the same time nail down the assassins and their accomplices behind the August 21, 2004 grenade blast designed to wipe out the Awami League.

    At times it seems that the US administration still backs their allies in 1971, the killer Jamaat-e-Islami to establish a fascist Islamic regime in Bangladesh to create turmoil in the region to dampen the robust economic growth in Asia.

    On a different note, Bangladesh should ask China to pour in USD$ 10 billion to help build our infrastructure. China can easily contribute 10 times the Indian amount. Both India and China should be involved in our infrastructure development including the deep sea port to facilitate trade in the region.

  9. Sheikh Zia

    It’s about few hours left before Indian PM is in town. I still expect that base document of discussion and negotiation would be the 51 point Joint Communique published post Sheikh Hasina’s vist to India in Jan 2010. The Joint Communique includes all those pointed out by Mr. Saleque. One of the most important clause of that communique was clause 21, which said ” Both Prime Ministers agreed on the need to amicably demarcate the maritime boundary between India and Bangladesh……” In reality it didn’t happen, India didn’t agree with our proposal and it’s with UN supported international arbitration court awaiting decision. We of course don’t want to see the agreements end that way. We still believe India will do everything possible to implement what has been agreed between the PMs in Jan 2010. I honestly hope that 2010 Joint Communique will be reviewed and a progress report will be published during this high profile visit. If 2010 agreements are not honoured any new agreement will be viewed as an useless excercise.

  10. akhond

    Thanks Sk Zia
    We know most about 51 point joint communique published during Hasina’s 2010
    Visit to India. So we expect that this time BAL govt will publish all the agreements signed this time with India.
    Now in reality something signed in papers is not necessarily a guarantee
    that it will be implemented as you said it is the very willingness of the
    powerful India.
    I don’t expect India will open its heart for all we are looking for, because
    India itself is facing a lot of problem. When you are burdened with so many
    problems then how you are going to share my problem.
    So don’t expect too much from this visit. Indian bureaucracy is no different from Bangladesh, we know that so many agreement were signed at different levels between Bangladesh & India, In many cases both sides really wanted to fullfill those agreements, but Indian bureacratic red tapism were main barriers there. Political leaders or elected representatives
    of both countries in many cases threw their full weight to solve many issues specially all those border issues, maritime boundary etc, but again those powerfull Indian bureaucrats delayed showing so many legal suits filed by vested quarters & instead of speeding up, those bereaucrats only maintained
    “Go Slow” & kill it in the court. The Indian judicial dept is also overwhelmed with so many such law suits. As a result those problems remained
    unsolved for decades.

    So I personally don’t expect any majic to happen out this visit. I would instead say that we should try to go ahead with whatever we have at hand, but for this to happen we need a healthy political environment, sooner these two ladies leave, the better thing will come for Bangladesh inshallah.

  11. Sheikh Zia

    ” Dhaka, Sept 6 (bdnews24.com) — The high-profile Dhaka-Delhi summit has ended without any agreement on water. The two countries even failed to exchange a letter of consent on transit.”- What a disappointment !! Where is Gowher Rizvi or Moshiur Rahman ?

    What I don’t understand is if the final Teesta agreement was dependent on consent of Mamata, why a draft was agreed between India and Bangladesh without Mamata’s consent ? Does India want us to believe that with all these years of experince of handling external treaties behind them, they just made a silly mistake of not consulting one of the stake holders before forwarding it to Bangladesh for review ? Sorry, I simply can’t buy it.

    A sad day for Bangladesh, our foreign policy and the inept way our policy makers handled it.

  12. Arefin

    The two-day summit has been very fruitful. Agreement on Teesta water flow sharing was not agreed upon due to disagreement between our claim and West Bengal’s rigid stance. Bangladesh in no way bowed to Indian pressure. It was an embarrassment for the Indian side. Bangladesh will not agree until we get our due share. Moshiur Rahman and Gawher Rizvi deserves credit as they did not sell our interests to India like BNP in the past.

    I am sure India will finally agree to the modalities of the Teesta agreement in due time after further pursuasion and diplomacy by a very competent and expert negotiating team headed by Gowher Rizvi, AMA Muhith, Moshiur Rahman and Dipu Moni.

  13. Sheikh Zia

    @Arefin, Of course it was very fruitful. Now at least we know where we stand as far as water treaties are concerned. Yes, Bangladesh didn’t bow down, but didn’t get the water she deserves as well. We have 54 common rivers between us,at this rate of signing treaties I am affraid it may take few milleniums before we can eat the fruits.

    “disagreement between our claim and West Bengal’s rigid stance.” – The summit was between Bangladesh and India. Not between Bangladesh and West Bengal. The summit promised start of a new era of relationship, but Teesta Scam exposed the reality, you can’t command trust.

  14. MOLLA A. LATIF

    @ Mr. Shahriar Javed, my salute to you and for your kind information I live very much in Bangladesh . When the media was very much hostile with the condition of the roads and the Communication Minister was under heavy flak , I myself took journeys from Dhaka to Sherpur via Mymensingh and back to Dhaka via Tangail only to see for myself the real condition obviating the advices of my doctors for my physical infirmity? I wrote my practical experiences in the comments in The Daily Sangbad on 25th. August under the caption,Demand of the so called intellectuals for resignation of the Communication Minister by 30th. August or observing Eid at the Shaheed Minar, along with two others and amazingly one of them being the author of this article, (www.sangbad.com.bd )regarding the exaggerations and real condition of the roads then. You may see The Sangbad of that day and then say like this what you have said here. However, most probably you did not go through my comment here carefully and just got futile exercise of your fingers without understanding anything and of course earning nothing but the benefits of exercise of fingers. Though this is not desired, yet I should thank you for the criticism you made squandering your valuable time.
    By the way, do you live in Bangladesh or somewhere outside? Well, did you see the visits of the Communication Minister to the Railway and bus Stations and his conversations with the home bound passengers and the reports of the TV channels side by side projecting the sufferings of the home bound people? Most probably you did not and so you could say this year it was the most peaceful observance of Eid by the people. Of course, I have no intention to label your version as yellow or red but Mr.Javed, I like calling a spade a spade. This much trouble though occurs to the home bound people during Eid every year and every time yet this time it was expected to be a bit better due to promise of CHANGE by the PM before election and the people were not happy with a bit more deteriorated condition. It did not mean the expected CHANGE to them but a reverse swing.
    However, as for the outcome of the Visit of the Indian PM, you may see the Sangbad of today the 7th. Sept. for comments of both of the author of this article and myself with others. And then if you feel you owe an apology to me you will be welcome or if you do not feel, I think you owe it for dishonouring me by mis-spelling and mutilating my name. Mr. Javed, you are better advised not to neglect your enemy even if you think you are an educated and honoured man. You cannot mutilate the of any one. I have no intention to teach you but you may learn it from your teachers if they are alive.
    Lastly, I will welcome you to write in The Daily Sangbad where you will find both of us, the author of this article and of course this yellow journalist. Thanks again.
    MOLLA A. LATIF. NOT MOLLAH LATIF OR MULLAH LATIF.

  15. Arefin

    @Sheikh Zia: What scam are you talking about? Giving our natural gas to TATA during Saifur Rahman’s tenure as the FM as a kickback to India to let BNP stay in power through vote rigging!

    Teesta sharing talks will continue and will be implemented after further negotiations. India and Bangladesh are both democracies. India is bigger and it has a number of states that also have state governments elected democratically. The beauty of the largest democracy in the world is that nothing is done without mutual consensus and consent between the central and regional governments. In democracies there is no place for autocratic decisions. Teesta hit a snare because of concern of the Mamata Bannerjee government. It is natural since scarcity of water resources in a six billion plus global population is likely to be a matter of dispute among nations in future. Make no mistake about it! I am sure it can be resolved amicably as stated by the Bangladeshi finance minister if India shows magnanimity towards us. I am sure we will get our due share.

    After the historic Ganges water treaty it is the second time we struck deals that is definitely in Bangladesh’s favour. As stated by Gawher Rizvi all the agreements will be made public on the Web. This summit is just the beginning of a new era in Indian-Bangladesh relations and it is bound to go a long way whether the pessimists and naysayers on talkshows and media like it or not. India is our biggest neighbor on all sides and it is in the interest of both the countries to cooperate and benefit equally economically brushing aside age-old cheap anti-Indian rhetoric. The common people have understood the shallowness of such mean-spirited smear campaigns launched by the BNP and their like-minded media brethren.

  16. Khondkar A saleque

    I would have liked to stay away from this lively discussion. India is to be solely blamed for the failed summit .Chief Minister West Bengal alone is responsible for stalling the water sharing treaty. We must question the logic of already providing India the transit through Ashuganj for transporting heavy construction equipment for Power Plant India constructing at Paltana.There is every reason to believe that India is pursuing its agenda of “Take all and share nothing “. The failure ,I repeat the failure of the Summit to reach meeting of minds on major issues will crystalize ” mistrust and disbelief between India and Bangladesh. From my past experience of negotiating bilateral issues with Indians in Tri Nation Gas Pipeline I can assure you that Indian beauracrats have very little respect for sovereign equality of Bangladesh.

    Present Government must be blamed for incompetent diplomacy , immature leadership of Foreign Minister and flawed strategy of PM Advisors. Why Tofael, Razzak and other senior leaders were kept away from such historic discussions?persons like Why irresponsible ns like Dr Mashiur Rahman and Dr Rizvi [ Whose alligeance to Bangladesh is not above doubt] be preffered above veteran Awami Leaguers like Tofael and Razzak? PM Hasina and her immature cabinet Colleague Dr Dipu Moni must own responsibility.

  17. Abdul Qader

    The Teesta water sharing agreement didn’t come through because of Mamata’s concerns about the deal. Scarcity of water resources and its sharing is likely to be a major irritant in international and national affairs in the near future. India already has interstate disagreements between neigbouring regional states. We have to be very careful in our negotiations so as not to dissatisfy anyone’s needs.

    India is the biggest functional democracy in the world. It has a central government that has to reach a mutual consensus with respective state governments before it inks consent to international agreements. There is no place for autocratic decisions in democracy. Bangladesh stood firm in its stance and resolutely pressed for its due legitimate share. Bangladesh even voiced its indignation at India’s last minute U-turn. This has enhanced our image internationally. We could stand upright because of democracy’s inherent strength. No doubt, the Indians felt embarrassed. We must carry on our mission through persuasion and diplomacy. Pessimists and naysayers have been drum beating the negatives of the summit without ever mentioning the many positive outcomes of the summit in the ‘talkshows’ orchestrated by a section of the media. The summit produced many favourable deals for Bangladesh which will soon be put online.

    Bangladesh is also a democracy and the two democracies are working very hard to strike mutually beneficial deals to warm up the already cordial relations between the two countries. India is our biggest neighbour on all sides and we cannot bypass this fact. Playing the anti-Indian card through cheap political rhetoric has become stale and obsolete in Bangladeshi politics. Last time the Awami League government signed the historic Ganges treaty and it is likely to get more done in our favour in the remaining two and a half years left. It is in the interest of both the countries to work closely and prosper economically in a fast developing Asia.

    My hats off to this government for not selling out our national interests to India by signing a deal with TATA to sell our natural gas at the price of water to them as had happened during the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami misrule. Fascist unconstitutional regimes will face even bigger obstacles trying to reach deals with democracies in the neighbourhood.

  18. Inthekab Alam

    The Hasina government has a lot of achievements to boast about. It successfully held the ICC World Cup. It made international superstars like Messi and Argentina play on the Bangabandhu national stadium. At the same time Manmohan Sing made his historic trip to Dhaka resolving the enclaves issue and letting many of the garments products duty free access into the Indian market.

    This is just half of its second term in power. Bangladesh has already made its mark on the international global scene as an emerging market. All the indicators point to a prosperous future for us us in 2-3 years. There have been hitches on the AL’s development efforts but I am sure we are likely to dramatic improvements in most sectors in line with the spectacular performance in energy, agriculture, food and education.

    Bangladesh also happens to be the most secure destination in South Asia and is immune from the terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India. The home ministry deserves special appreciation for bringing back Bangladesh to its peaceful existence from the terror-laden days unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami fundamentalist alliance in 2001-2006.

  19. Khondkar A saleque

    There can not be any doubt that Bangladesh is in much better stead than it used to be from 2002-2006 under a corrupt , terrorist ridden failed government. No killing of political opponents through sponsoring terrorists , no Hawa Bhaban to carry out freestyle corruption in every sphere of life. We hope the readers of the online paper had opportunity to read what long term serving Principal Secreatry to ex Pm Khaleda Zia Dr Kamal Siddki informed US Ambassador Mr Harry Thomas .
    Yes Summit did not achieve the expected destinations . Our expectations to the parties favoring Liberation war is always much more . Bangladesh did now bow down . But we must not not endorse Indian stance on Water Sharing. Why Mamata was not taken on board earlier on? Why Indian Central Government dealing with the matter did not take opinion of Chief Minister West Bengal which matters most in sharing Teesta Water? It is a management failure of Indian Government .Manmahon Singh even expressed frustration for not being able to conclude Water sharing treaty . In a way it was a blessing in disguise .Bangladesh can reevaluate its pains and gains of allowing transit and offering regional connectivity.Non performing opposition and their paer tiger intellectual group can not make transit an issue . But we must not become compalcent. Ice of Indo Bangla relation have started to melt . Indian PM acknwledged that in many macroeconomic indices Bangladesh is advanced than India . No mean achievement . We criticise government actions objectively. We want it remain alert against all conspiracies and remain foccused to its commitments . Let us all standby sincre efforts of patriotic forces and not get swept away by whims and mis propaganda. I also appeal to all valued readers and all respected persons in this forum not to disrepect others right to express opinion.

  20. Sheikh Zia

    @Arefin, ” What scam are you talking about ?” – The line I am thinking is put in black & white by Abu Hasan Shahriar in his Amader Shomoy column today by saying “কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের সাথে পাতানো খেলাও যদি হয়….”. I still can’t believe that Indian central government did not discuss this before passing the final draft to Bangladesh. There’s nothing to write home about history of water treaties with India. We all know it. The treaty was not being signed between WB and Bangladesh, it was between India and Bangladesh. It was Dr. Singh’s ROUTINE responsibily to secure a team concensus before he passed the final draft to be signed during his such a high profile visit to Bangladesh. The argument that the Center did not consult Mamata before agreeing on a draft with Bangladesh does not simply make any sense. Mamata’s Trinomool is an ally of Congress in the Center. Look more closely at the benficiaries of this “no pact” stunt…you will start seeing it more clearly.

    I don’t know why you have brought in BNP and “anti India” into this discussion. I am a citizen of Bangladesh. One doesn’t have to be a member of BNP or Anti-Indian to criticise Awami League led government policies and the way they are handled. The trend is extremely unfortunate and damaging to practice of democracy. I am for sure not fan of few Indian policies which goes against my country Bangladesh, but am certainly not anti-indian. I hope you understand this. Similarly if I am not on board the “Boat” does not make me a BNP stalwart or supporter. As I mentioned before, I am a CITIZEN of Bangladesh and I hope you will respect that.

    Mr. Saleque’s comments may give you more clues about the state of the affairs of our foreign affairs handling capabilities, responsibilities and accountabilities. It’s in shambles. It’s sad indeed.

  21. Sheikh Zia

    @Arefin, You said – ” I am sure it can be resolved amicably as stated by the Bangladeshi finance minister if India shows magnanimity towards us.” – How is it amicable when you are actually depending on generosity ( magnanimity) ????

  22. Farid Ali

    at Sheikh Zia:

    You have no respect for democracy. Otherwise you wouldn’t have chosen Sheikh Zia as your fake name.Your fake name clearly spells out our evil intent. You are an imposter trying to destroy democracy. You guys had tried it once in 2007 but failed. People won’t buy your fascist solutions by installing blockhead military juntas to plunge Bangladesh into an abyss. Fakruddin and Moinuddin have permanently demolished such hopes.

  23. MOLLA A. LATIF

    As we are the citizens of Bangladesh and we have the right to see the interest of our country, so we think we have the responsibility also to honour the interest of our counterpart, india, in the present topic. If we have interest in the water treaty we cannot forget that our counterpart also has the same in it. And we must not forget that we are the lower riparian part of it and if we cannot negotiate the instrument with utmost care, proper diplomacy and international laws and norms, there is every chance that we may lose everything. Bilateral or may be it is multilateral relations to come to one point of agreement is not that easy to materialise as we expect here in the clumns of the paper or as the political opponents boisterously intersperse standing before the supporters in the corners of the streets and rooms. It requires agreement of all concerned sides and if the water sharing agreement between India and Bangladesh did not come to its final shape due to Momama Banarjee’s dissension because of her interest then it is the pegion of the central Govt. of India to see to it and go for further examination and negotiations. We do not have any right to blame the Indian Govt. for it as we also did not go for transit and other agreements instead. We had the right for it and our Govt. did a right thing and not anyway we should term it as tit for tat. This is a harmful undiplomatic mentality and we should not close the chapter blaming the Indian or Bangladeshi Governments. If you close your door from inside no one will open it from outside for you to go forward and the Indian Govt.? They have nothing greater to gain from us. We really do not umderstand, what did our opposition really gain opposing the visit of the Indian PM to the extent that they expressed their stunt to welcome him with a Hartal, opposing the efforts of the Govt. to reach agreement on many bilateral issues very much important for us more than the Indians to the extent that they said, the Govt. was selling out everything to India in lieu of assuring the guarantee of staying in power and what not? Has anything such happened and is there any agreement signed which had been done to sell out the independence of Bangladesh to India? We had been hearing such silly utterences from the mouths of no less than the Leader of the opposition and the opposition stalwarts since long but the leader of the opposition forgot to raise question of water sharing while she visited Delhi as the PM of Bangladesh. Feni is not in India now and the AL Govt. had the guts not to go for signing the transit agreement which the opposition always terms as corridoor to India. what is the gain then? Our opposition is such that they do not take part in any activities of the state and always stands against the progreesive efforts of the Govt. tooth and nail. And our wise, citizens are always very smart to blame the Govt. for not taking the opposition to confidence and citing the example of the Indian Govt. for doing so forgetting the nature and character of both. Has our opposition also any contribution to Momota’s stunt?

  24. Sheikh Zia

    @Farid Ali, I don’t know why you got so excited by my name !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Democracy is NOT in bulit in any NAME, it’s how we conduct ourselves. If you have any doubt about definition of democracy please google it and I can assure you you will not find my name there !!!!We were discussing an issue close to Bangladesh’s heart.Please talk sense and let’s talk about the issues on the table.
    I don’t know what gives you the impression that it’s not my real name. Please google Sheikh Ziaur Rahman and see how many names you can find. If you are into Facebook, please try the name there as well. Think about your name, we have a famous comedian in the same name, that I am sure does not make you a comedian..unless of cousre if you are one..I don’t know.

  25. Sheikh Zia

    @Farid Ali, I don’t know why you got so excited by my name !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Democracy is NOT in bulit in any NAME, it’s how we conduct ourselves. If you have any doubt about definition of democracy please google it and I can assure you you will not find my name there !!!!We were discussing an issue close to Bangladesh’s heart.Please talk sense and let’s talk about the issues on the table.
    I don’t know what gives you the impression that it’s not my real name. Please google Sheikh Ziaur Rahman and see how many names you can find. If you are into Facebook, please try the name there as well. Think about your name, we have a famous comedian in the same name, that I am sure does not make you a comedian..unless of cousre if you are one..I don’t know.

  26. Sheikh Zia

    @ Farid Ali, ” People won’t buy your fascist solutions by installing blockhead military juntas to plunge Bangladesh into an abyss.” – Please explain how and where I have indicated a “fascist solution” and my support for military junta. You have my support IF YOU ARE AGAINST MILITARY JUNTA ( ZIA, ERSHAD & AND MUA )& CAMPAIGN TO TRY THEM. Let’s do it for democracy.

    You wrote ” Your fake name clearly spells out our evil intent.” – Thanks for telling me the truth, remember that Socrates quote – “There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance”…Let there be light….

  27. Javed Haider

    The last minute disagreement on Teesta water sharing may be a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh. India is now in the backseat following criticism of the failure blamed on the Indian side by their media. Bangladesh can take the set if it can score on the advantage point.

    Bangladesh was fully assured of the treaty ahead of Manmohan’s trip. Our foreign ministry was totally caught off guard because of poor coordination between the central Indian government and the West Bengal government. Bangladesh made it clear that there would be no significant developments between the two nations meet if Teesta sharing is not agreed upon. The anger on the Foreign Secretary Kayes’ face was visible during the press conference following PM Manmohan’s departure.

    My hunch is that Mamata and the federal water minister, who is also a Bengali will soon be in Dhaka to sign the deal favouring Bangladesh’s legitimate share of the flow.

    AT MOLLAH LATIF: BNP is impotent as a viable opposition. This has again been proven for the second time. The AL led alliance had to take over the role of the shadow government to expose its weaknesses in some ministries not long ago. Similarly the parliamentary committee on water sharing did a commendable job ensuring our proper share of the flow. Here also BNP could be of no help intellectually. Instead it was more interested in creating trouble in the country to protect Khaleda Zia’s controversial sons.

  28. Khondkar A saleque

    I fully endorse Mr Javed. BNP MPs have already lost their credibility.They do not attend any parliamentary process. Do not attend parliament, did not participate in the parliamentary committee visit for Tipai Mukh .It is true water sharing agreement could not be reached for failure of Indian team to honour its agreed commitment. Bangladesh did not loose an inch. The ball is on Indian court now. Persons like Maota and Mayavati are cancers in Indian democarcy. Anti Indian BNP politics got a slap on the dirty face.

  29. MOLLA A. LATIF

    Is Mr. Shahriar Javed and Mr.Javed Haider the same gentleman? If so then he owes an apology to me. If not then Mr. Javed Haider, my name is MOLLA A. LATIF not MOLLAH LATIF. Please try to write the name of any one correctly and with honour. This is the demand of minimum courtesy.

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