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Sunday, February 17, 2013
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Teesta deal soon

India assures again; parliament to ratify land boundary deal in next session

Salman Khurshid

Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid yesterday gave assurance that the next budget session of the Indian parliament would ratify additional protocol for the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement.

He also said the Teesta deal would be signed soon.

He made the remark at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the end of the second meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Consultative Commission yesterday.

Ratification of the protocol would pave the way for exchanging 162 enclaves/exclaves and adversely possessed land and demarcate 6.5 kilometres of the border.

The commission meeting ended with the signing of two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) -- one on the construction of Akhaura-Agartala rail link and another on the setting up of think tank Bangladesh-India Foundation.

At the meeting, a protocol on an addendum to the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between the two countries was inked. The two sides also exchanged all the signed Strip Maps of the land boundary as part of the implementation of the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement and its 2011 protocol.

Replying to a question about the possibility of amendment to the Indian constitution to implement the land boundary protocol when main opposition BJP is opposing it, Khurshid said “… we should not jump to any conclusion about any major group of India opposing it.”

“We are moving forward with full concentration and full involvement of all stakeholders,” Khurshid said, adding that it was his duty to ensure that the amendment bill is passed in parliament with cooperation of all parties, including the BJP.

He, however, said it required two-thirds majority of the House to pass the bill. He said the budget session of parliament would commence in the last week of this month. “If all goes well, we hope the bill would be passed in this parliament session,” he told journalists.

He said he informed Dipu Moni that the Indian cabinet had approved the constitution amendment bill.

On the commission meeting, the Indian minister said he appreciated that both sides have shown utmost sensitivity towards each other, in requirements and aspirations.

On Teesta water sharing deal, which has been stalled due to the opposition of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Khurshid said, “I would like to reassure you that India remains committed to an early resolution of the issue of sharing Teesta waters. Consultations are on amongst stakeholders in India,” he said.

Asked whether the Indian government has reached an understanding with Mamata Banerjee on the water-sharing formula, he said Teesta is a water issue and it is directly associated with West Bengal and “we have to ensure that West Bengal is fully on board with us”.

“West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a good friend of Bangladesh. She is conscious of her responsibilities on her shoulder and the responsibilities on her shoulder are very high,” he added.

“I can assure you that there is no lack of goodwill and sense of friendship for Bangladesh and that's what will prevail,” he said.

He said India and Bangladesh have already exchanged data on the flow of Teesta at Dalia and Gazaldoba in the Joint Technical Meeting held in Kolkata.

Khurshid said they were committed to resolve the land boundary and Teesta issue.

On the Tipaimukh project, he reiterated that the Indian prime minister's proposal for joint participation and Bangladesh taking a stake in the project. “We are also happy to note that the second meeting of the sub group on Tipaimukh was held in Dhaka early this month,” he added.

In reply to a question whether the issue of transit came up for discussion, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said all issues including the transit matter came up for discussion. She said a joint working group was on it.

Asked about the youth upsurge at Shahbagh demanding a ban on Jamaat-e-Islami, the Indian minister said he loved to see the young engaged in the democratic process.

He said when the new generation is engaged in a democratic process in a country it gives a tremendous insight on democracy. The young generation may have their own view about democracy but it revives strong feelings and faith in democracy.

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You can be rest assured that there will be no Teesta deal without the consent of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banarjee. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni should personally meet her and try to convince her. The government and the foreign ministry of Bangladesh must realize by now that it is not New Delhi but it is West Bengal authorities that need to be convinced. It's a shame that our inefficient foreign minister Dipu Moni is a puppet of India!

: Labu Khan

Do not believe a single word that India promises because they have not ratified Indra-Mujib land deal even after 40 years have passed! Also India keeps murdering our people all along the border zones and they train terrorists who come to Chittagong Hill Tracts to kill our brave soldiers so evil India is no friend of Bangladesh.

: Alminka

Comments

  • rch
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 02:44 AM GMT+06:00 (111 weeks ago)

    India's soon is based on what time standard --God even does not know!

  • Alamgir
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 07:28 AM GMT+06:00 (111 weeks ago)

    Can we get anything good for the benefit of Bangladesh from India? Since the liberation war was over, there were many commissions on many issues but we never got anything which would benefit Bangladesh.

  • Snr Citizen
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 08:43 AM GMT+06:00 (111 weeks ago)

    We have been hearing such assurances since Manmohan's visit, and our Govt said within three months! But still the agreement signing is waiting.

    Have you just come to say the same thing for damage control measures?

  • Lt Gen (Rtd) Y M Bammi
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 10:14 AM GMT+06:00 (111 weeks ago)

    It is indeed a very positive sign of trust and cordiality enjoyed by the two neighbors, Bangladesh and India, that the current visit of India's FM has been able to narrow down the differences, while inching forward in other negotiated agreements. It proves the sagacity of the PMs and people of the two countries, who wish to live in peace, setting an example for other countries of the region.

  • Anonymous k
    Sunday, February 17, 2013 11:07 AM GMT+06:00 (111 weeks ago)

    He can fool the naive FM of Bangladesh but not the people, The

    AL govt can only keep the hope alive like the Padma bridge project. India is not going to do anything that benefits the poor people of Bangladesh.


 

 


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