July 23, 2024, 10:23 am

Teesta deal likely on the table on Hasina’s Delhi trip

  • Update Time : Saturday, June 15, 2024
  • 36 Time View
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Staff Correspondent:

There may be a renewed push from Bangladesh for a deal on sharing the Teesta river’s water during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s first bilateral visit to India in her new term, a senior PMO official has hinted.

The visit is scheduled for June 21-22, her Press Secretary Nayeemul Islam Khan said on Friday night.

“She will have a top-level meeting with Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi, and there will also be a meeting with [India’s foreign minister S] Jaishankar. Several important issues will be discussed there.”

“Discussions may include water sharing of common rivers like the Teesta along with various other important issues,” he added.

After winning the general election on Jan 7, this term marks Hasina’s first visit to India. Modi has also been sworn in for his third consecutive term as Prime Minister of India.

Hasina will be making her second trip to the Indian capital this month. She was there from Jun 8-10 to attend the installation ceremony of Modi.

It was not a bilateral visit, but several issues were discussed between the two leaders during that trip.

Hasina’s last bilateral visit came in Sept 5-8, 2022 when seven memorandums of understanding or MoUs were signed. Cooperation in repatriation, investment, trade relations, electricity and energy sectors, water distribution of common rivers, water resource management, border management, drug trafficking, and human trafficking prevention were discussed.

During Manmohan Singh’s visit in 2011, an agreement was expected to be reached bit it was stalled due to opposition from Mamata Banerjee, and the deadlock has not been resolved even after 13 years.

During Manmohan Singh’s visit in 2011, an agreement was expected to be reached bit it was stalled due to opposition from Mamata Banerjee, and the deadlock has not been resolved even after 13 years.

From Sept 8 to 10, 2023, Prime Minister Hasina again visited India as an invited guest at the G20 summit. There, she also had a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart, and three MoUs were signed.

Both camps maintain that the relationship between the two next-door neighbours has reached ‘new heights’ under the administrations of Hasina and Modi.

After the exchange of enclaves within each other’s territories, the land borders of the two countries have been defined. Both parties have come closer to resolving many unresolved issues.

However, although reduced, promises to decrease killings by India’s Border Security Force, or BSF, at the frontier has not been fulfilled.

There has also been no progress in signing the scuppered agreement on equitable sharing of the Teesta river water.

In the last decade and a half, almost every meeting between the two prime ministers expressed optimism about finalising this treaty. However, complexities have continuously hindered its conclusion.

The much-anticipated agreement on the Teesta water was supposed to happen during the visit of the then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to Dhaka in Sept 2011. In the lead-up to that visit, the water resource ministers of both countries had agreed on a sharing deal.

However, the treaty was stalled due to opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and this deadlock has not been resolved even after 13 years.

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