PM hopeful of solving Teesta issue with India

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DHAKA, April 9, 2018 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said she was hopeful of solving the pending Teesta water sharing issue with India as Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Keshav Gokhale paid a courtesy call on her.

“We’ve resolved many problems. Now one problem remains to be resolved is Teesta issue,” Premier’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted her as saying while briefing reporters after the meeting at the PM’s Jatiya Sangsad office here this evening.

According to Karim, Gokhale, on the other hand, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to fulfill all the commitments with Bangladesh.

“We’re monitoring all the projects with Bangladesh,” the Indian foreign secretary said.

The top bureaucrat of India’s foreign ministry simultaneously conveyed the Bangladesh premier of New Delhi’s all out efforts to stand by Dhaka in resolving the Rohingya crisis.

He said India would continue to urge Myanmar to take back its nationals from Bangladesh.

“We’re well aware of Bangladesh’s problem arising out of influx of more than one million Rohingyas here . . . Our prime minister and the entire Indian government shall do best for Bangladesh in this regard,” he said.

Gokhale underscored the need for setting up field hospital for the Rohingyas particularly for the women and children of the forcibly displaced ethnic minority community of Myanmar.

A massive Rohingya influx began since Aug 25 when Myanmar army troops launched a crackdown in Buddhist-majority Myanmar’s northwestern Rakhine State, the homeland of the ethnic minority community

According to Karim the premier sought mounting Indian pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation telling Gokhale “We want that India to put more pressure on Myanmar to take back its citizens from Bangladesh”.

She said the coming monsoon was likely to expose Rohingyas to aggravated danger as there were chances of landslide though her government took preparedness to relocate one lakh Rohingyas to an island from their existing camps in Cox’s Bazar.

Sheikh Hasina said the arrival of Rohingyas actually began in 1991 though their massive influx started last year, prompting Dhaka to be in touch with five countries having borders with Myanmar to solve the problem.

About the line of credit (LoC) with Bangladesh, the Indian foreign secretary said substantial progress would be made by the end of this year.

Gokhale said India-Bangladesh relations are a “unique relations” and the Indian premier was looking forward to holding meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Summit beginning in London in UK next week. The Indian foreign secretary conveyed Modi’s warm greetings to Sheikh Hasina, who recalled with gratitude the contribution of India and its people to Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971.

Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Muazzem Ali, PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Foreign Secretary M. Shahidul Haque and Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla, among others, were present on the occasion.

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