1. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hopeful of getting Teesta waters; cites Narendra Modi’s pledge

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hopeful of getting Teesta waters; cites Narendra Modi’s pledge

No one could block the flow of Teesta waters, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said, expressing confidence over signing of the long-pending water- sharing deal with India soon.

By: | Dhaka | Published: April 11, 2017 9:07 PM
“The (Teesta) waters will definitely come… We are in the downstream and thus water will come down. None will be able to stop the flow of water, nobody could block the flow. (Reuters)

No one could block the flow of Teesta waters, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said, expressing confidence over signing of the long-pending water- sharing deal with India soon. “Indian Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) has pledged to sign the (Teesta) agreement. We can wait with patience for signing it. There is no doubt that the visit was successful and satisfactory… nothing happened to be frustrated from it,” Hasina said.

“The (Teesta) waters will definitely come… We are in the downstream and thus water will come down. None will be able to stop the flow of water, nobody could block the flow.

“They have to release the water, they will have no option during rainy days, so they will have to and we have to find methods to retain it,” she told reporters at her official Ganobhaban residence.

Hasina said she was “pleasantly surprised” that Modi came to receive her at the airport in New Delhi beyond India’s general protocol over heads of foreign governments.

“When the plane landed, I was told that Prime Minister Modi was at the airport. I was pleasantly surprised (by Modi’s gesture),” she said.

Asked if West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s proposal for augmenting flows in other Bangladesh-bound rivers was acceptable to Dhaka, Hasina answered negatively.

“I (rather) gave an alternative proposal asking them to give us Teesta waters, taking away the flows of other rivers… discussions will continue on (my proposal),” Hasina said.

When asked about the defence deal, Hasina said there is no scope to raise a question over the deal signed with India.

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“I myself am the minister of the defence ministry and military equipment will be bought at the will of Bangladesh. No anti-state agreement will be signed as long as I am alive,” she said as she urged people not to be frustrated over her India visit during which both the countries signed 22 pacts in key sectors including defence and civil nuclear

The long-pending Teesta waters sharing agreement remained elusive though Modi conveyed his government’s commitment for an “early solution”.

She asked people to uphold the national interest and slammed the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by former prime minister Khaleda Zia for its allegations that the country was being sold to India through her visit.

“I am a daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. All will have to understand that I am not a person who can sell out the country to anyone,” Hasina added.

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