Onus on India to settle unresolved issues with Bangladesh: Zia

November 15th, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Nov 15 (IANS) India being the larger neighbour bears the “major responsibility” to settle unresolved issues with Bangladesh, former prime minister Khaleda Zia said as the two neighbours prepared for talks next month.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) wanted to maintain “friendly relations” with India, Zia, who leads BNP, told visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao who is here to prepare for the New Delhi visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The visit begins Dec 19.

She reminded Rao of the letter addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about her opposition to India’s plan to construct a dam on Barak river at Tipaimukh in Manipur in northeastern India.

Rao reiterated the assurance that India would not do anything that jeopardises Bangladesh’s interests.

Zia touched on the emotive issue of India’s Border Security Force (BSF) personnel shooting Bangladeshis engaged in cross-border movement at night.

Rao said that each incident was probed and that better border management could curb the incidence, New Age newspaper said Sunday.

Bangladesh says 80 people were killed this year. BSF says its men shoot in self-defence to curb smuggling of goods, humans, cattle, drugs and arms.

Having achieved a break-through on land and rail access to Bhutan and Nepal through Indian territory, Bangladesh wants to press for an early decision on sharing of Teesta river waters. The neighbours have a pact on the Ganga river water.

Technical experts and officials will be in India for Teesta talks prior to Hasina’s visit, The Daily Star said.

This would, however, be one of the “major irritants” that is likely to remain on the back burner during the visit, New Age said.

The two countries are expected to sign three agreements on mutual legal assistance on criminal matters, transfer of sentenced people and combating international terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking.

Rao met Hasina and Foreign Minister Dipu Moni before returning home Sunday.

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