Pranab visit yielded win-win deals: Dhaka media

February 11th, 2009 - 12:07 pm ICT by IANS  

On Wednesday, they highlighted the “mutuality of interests” - if Dhaka was providing Delhi transit to the northeast, the latter too would get access to Nepal and Bhutan as well as new areas for trade and economic cooperation.

The general refrain in editorial comments was the hope that the visit, the discussions and the deals signed would help reduce the measure of distrust that has governed India-Bangladesh relations.

On the opposition blitzkrieg calling pacts with India “anti-national”, Nation Today newspaper said it would be better if everyone is taken along and that the issues with India are dealt in a transparent manner.

“Those against allowing transit to India want India allowing us corridors to Nepal and Bhutan. If India allows this, relations between the two countries may revert to the warmth of the post-Liberation days,” it observed in its editorial.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally, Jamaat-e-Islami were yet to react to the 12-hour visit Mukherjee paid Monday.

Bangladesh and India should look forward to a win-win situation for equitable sharing of the benefits of increased trade and other forms of economic cooperation, said economic daily newspaper Financial Express.

Supporting the renewal of the trade treaty and another on protection of mutual investments, it said: “In the modern world, there is no escape from deals and agreements between countries whether they are neighbours or not. And it is better to have deals rather than no deals between nations, particularly when they are next-door neighbours.”

It said the visit augured well “for building up forward-looking partnership between the two countries”.

Much of the editorial comments were confined to economic issues.

But Nation Today protested against Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s “insulting remarks about Bangladeshis going to India and not returning”.

“He has threatened to restrict issuing visas to Bangladeshis,” the newspaper said of the minister’s observations made before the Mukherjee visit.

Emphasising on the economic aspects of the ties, The Daily Star said: “The benefits that will accrue from the deal will be of a mutual nature. But what is certainly important from Bangladesh’s perspective is that Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) allows Dhaka to invest in the Indian market, particularly in the northeast of that country.”

“For a nation that has for years been endeavouring to have its goods gain a market in India, BIPA should make a difference.

“The reality is that from here on, India and Bangladesh will enjoy Most Favoured Nation relations with each other. That is surely a good augury.

“Overall, Pranab Mukherjee’s visit opens up new areas of cooperation between India and Bangladesh. The cordiality with which he was received as well as the seriousness with which the two agreements were penned is indicative of other avenues of cooperation between the two countries in the times ahead,” The Daily Star said.

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