Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013

JRC meeting postponed

BD-India-flag

The Joint River Commission meeting in Dhaka slated for June 18-19 has been postponed due to India’s last moment pull-out, officials here said.

“The Indian side has written our [water resources] minister that their minister cannot attend the meeting here due to internal issues,” Sheikh Altaf Ali, senior secretary of the water resources ministry, told The Daily Star.

He said, “It came as a big surprise to us because we were expecting a final list of guests today (Sunday).”

According to officials here, the signing of TeestaRiver water sharing treaty and Tipaimukh dam were on the agenda of the meeting.

The Teesta water is vital for irrigating around 6.4 lakh hectares of cropland in the northern region of Bangladesh during the lean season.

In the last (37th) JRC meeting that took place in March 18 and 19, 2010, in New Delhi, the ministers of the two countries had exchanged proposals about the Teesta deal. The technical committee of the countries finalised the deal after a series of meetings.

The agreement got shelved since September, 2011, during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka visit, as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had raised objections and refused to come to Bangladesh with the Indian premier.

Since then, the two countries had been exchanging documents on the history of the Teesta flow and reviewed them. Mamata formed a one-man commission to assess the water flow of the river.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh had also been asking India for a convenient date to hold the JRC meeting. But India had not responded to the call until recently, said a source in the water resources ministry.

The ministry’s Senior Secretary Altaf Ali earlier said India and Bangladesh had exchanged drafts of the interim agreement on principles of sharing the water of the Teesta.

Both the sides had also agreed to mandate the secretaries of the water resources ministries to examine the drafts and facilitate an early conclusion to the interim agreement, he added.

India and Bangladesh share 54 common rivers. So far, India has signed only one treaty on sharing the water of the Ganges in 1996.

 

  • Dev Saha

    Well, Indians expect a total about turn if BNP comes to the power. We will be witnessing exactly the same tantrums that we have seen during last BNP tenure. There is no love lost between India and BNP. China and Pakistan cards will be played again from BNP side while US will stay on the side line with a wait and see approach.

    • Raf Chow

      Well bending backward approach by AL did not change Indian attitude either so India will never change the “chamar” mentality, so we need to figure out how we proceed. We need to use Gandhi’s strategy — utilize the perceived strength of your adversary to your advantage. Rhetorics will not work. Look , India wants to be the super power — the prestige and power with the big dogs . As Indian never had any Marshall Plan like the US, she has a long way to go play the other positive sides of a Super Power rather than military and bullying aspects. The key is the prestige she wants that is where we can play our cards and tilt towards China whenever it suits us…we need to give Bangladesh first priority. India wants connectivity and we should work towards it but not free.

  • MH Khan

    Indian
    diplomacy lacks farsightedness and it is fragile, it warrants handling with
    care.

  • Raf Chow

    If Bangladesh is of no importance to India then why do they worry and spend so much money to keep RAW so busy buying politicians and new business enterprises? I mean we are no body and has no impact on how great and mighty India will become so why act so mean? Or, may be India is just good at bullying with smaller and less powerful neighbors and that’s about the greatness they will achieve. You wanna be great …Great ..act graciously and be class act with finesse ; do not act like neighborhood mastans. Unfortunately, we need to get our act correct to chart our future with or without India.

    • Samih34

      You have hit the nail right on the head! However, this surely going to irk some ‘Indian lover’ here & elsewhere. Anyway, to hell with them! We have our own survival as top priority & people are now much more conscious of it having experienced one broken promise after another by our neighbor over all these years.

    • Dev Saha

      I am not sure who is being bought and sold by RAW, ISI, CIA and KGB. If you have solid evidence, please show the evidence. Thank you.
      I failed to understand your continuous tantrum of India wanting to be a greater nation? If it wants it, your advice and prescriptions are really terrific to follow.

      • Raf Chow

        Sir, I wish I was that naive like you to deny RAW & ISI infiltration in Bangladesh.

  • Samih34

    Leaving aside the usual state protocol accorded to any visiting dignitaries / delegation & rhetoric from either side, are you implying that it was all bed of roses from the Indians for the present government run by AL during their 4 & a 1/2 half years rule?

  • Samih34

    Should not it read 600 million or more & NOT 600%, Mr.Hassan?

  • Samih34

    Leaving aside the usual state protocol offered to any visiting dignitaries / govt. delegation & rhetoric, are you implying that it was all bed of roses for the present AL government from India for the last 4 & a 1/2 years?

    • Dev Saha

      Ask that question to an AL parliamentary member. With the absolute sovereignty card in horizon, we can be equally tough with the Indians. More power to you, my friend!

  • Raf Chow

    My online thesaurus was not working so I had used the word “Chamar” as an adjective. Subsequently, I took your advice and modified to “Greedy” – I am not sure whether the colloquial word “chamar” still carries the stereotype of certain human behavior. Anyway, I do apologize for being at the rough edges of
    creative independence.

    • Iftekhar Hassan

      Thanks, smart and objective Raf Chow

  • Dev Saha

    When a wise man knows the answer, why would he ask the question, unless he is teaching in some elementary schools?

    My dear friend, we can’t even handle the critic from people like Rajib and Taslima Nasreens. What makes you think a new Arundhuti would sing your tune?

    • Samih34

      You have been giving the impression of being
      privy to many information which ordinary sole like me is not; and, that is why asked your opinion. Apologies for my wrong judgment. If speaking for rights is a
      ‘tune’ to you, I’m simply at a loss. Arundhuti Roy has spoken for many issues – mainly environmental & human rights – internal as well as external – list is
      long say on Narmada Dam project, on invasion of Afghanistan, on Israeli State Terror on Lebanon, her support to the independence of Kashmir etc. etc. So, is it wrong to expect similar response from a great international personality like her? Or are you feeling cheesed off for me hoping that Arundhuti Roy may speak up too for us?

      • Dev Saha

        So, you have more faith in a foreign advocate than our own? Only if Arundhuti Roy takes our case, all problems be solved? Just, few days ago, you were so cocky about our own might and awareness of our rights. Now, this about turn?

        My dear friend, Ms. Roy has not solved any of the problems that you have mentioned. Let us create our own indigenous Arundhutis and tolerate them right at our own backyard. Don’t be a good hypocrite to tolerate them when they are residing only in the foreign countries. Thank you.

  • Iftekhar Hassan

    You may have a very good logical point herein,

  • Iftekhar Hassan

    I like your idea of no free lunch. However, I also don’t like Bangladesh under any political party to divert core foreign policy as being pro-India or pro-China on a regional level.

    Bangladeshi geographical location is very positive in terms of manufacturing and distribution hub. All government policy should be geared toward that objective. Considering, almost three billion people live within 1000 mile radius of Bangladesh. It is not a good idea to get involve with any nation that offend their rivals. I think Bangladesh should improve relationship with Myanmar while continue to apply friendly pressure to solve Rohingya issue to a peaceful conclusion. I was wondering what happened to leasing land in Myanmar for agriculture joint ventures by PPP of both country?