Sheikh Hasina reaffirms the positivity to resolve the Teesta water-sharing issue with India and resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue.
Sheikh Hasina the Prime Minister of Bangladesh said Bangladesh and India could resolve all outstanding issues including Teesta River water sharing through dialogue. She urged Indian businessmen to come up with their investments in 100 economic zones of her country. Verma said trade and connectivity between Bangladesh and India have increased remarkably in recent times.
Newly appointed Indian High Commissioner here Pranay Verma on Wednesday said Bangladesh always gets highest priority from his country as it has a policy for its neighbouring countries. “India has a policy for its neighbouring countries. In this regard, Bangladesh has the highest priority. Bangladesh always gets priority in any case,” he said. He said this while paying a courtesy call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence, Ganabhaban, in the capital city.
Prime Minister’s deputy press secretary KM Shakhawat Moon briefed the newspersons after the meeting. Calling Bangladesh as “a very good friend” of India, the envoy said Bangladesh and India will work together to curb terrorism in this region.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina categorically said that Bangladesh never allowed terrorism. To this end, she mentioned that terrorism has no religion or boundary. “Awami League never ever pampers terrorism and it never allows using of Bangladesh soil for the purpose,” she said.
During the meeting, Sheikh Hasina and Verma both also discussed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for facilitating economic relations between the two neighboring countries.
Verma said India will cooperate with Bangladesh in the power and energy sector. He appreciated the socio-economic development of Bangladesh under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Stating that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman dedicated his entire life to the people of the country, Sheikh Hasina said following Bangabandhu’s dedication, she herself is also devoting her life to the countrymen. Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin and prime minister’s principal secretary Ahmad Kaikaus were present at the meeting.
What is the Teesta River Issue?
Teesta is a 414km long river flowing through the Indian states of West Bengal, and Sikkim before going to the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. It is the fourth largest transboundary river shared between India and Bangladesh after the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna river systems with a total catchment area of 1.75 million square kilometers.
The Teesta River dispute makes headlines every time there is a bilateral talk between India and Bangladesh. The dispute is regarding the water sharing of River Teesta. Bangladesh wants a higher share than it gets now. Currently, its share is lower than that of India.
The Importance of the Teesta River to Bangladesh and West Bengal
For Bangladesh, the Teesta River is important because its floodplain covers about 14% of the total cropped area of Bangladesh and provides direct livelihood opportunities to approximately 73% of its population.
For West Bengal, the Teesta River is the lifeline of North Bengal and almost half a dozen of districts of West Bengal are dependent on the waters of Teesta, the fastest-flowing river in India.