India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements in various sectors

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (front) inspects guard of honor during the ceremonial reception at the Indian Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, April 8, 2017.

However, the much-delayed pact on Teesta water sharing remained elusive for the two sides. They sustain our peoples and their livelihoods. "And, the one that has attracted the greatest attention is the Teesta", he said.

However, the pressing issues Bangladesh faces with India seem to have lost steam in the fanfare of this historic visit. But despite Modi telling the media that he firmly believes that his and Sheikh Hasina's government can come up with "an early solution to Teesta water sharing", the issue remains unresolved.

Bapon Das, a boulder supplier for construction projects in Bangladesh said, "We want a train and bus service through this route also as we have a lot of students from Bangladesh coming here to study". This is the third in three years that the Bangladesh Prime Minister was visiting India.

The Prime Minister also complimented Hasina for her governments zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and said "it is an inspiration for all of us". What use Bangladesh will make from the Dollars 5 billion line of credit from India that includes USD 500 million to procure military hardware is to be seen.

Teesta could have been put on the backburner for the time being, but India and Bangladesh on Saturday signed as many as 22 agreements in the fields of defence cooperation, civil nuclear energy, space and cyber security among others. The supply of another 500 Mega Watt has already been committed from the existing inter-connection.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart during which they will discuss ways to further deepen ties between India and Bangladesh.

The leaders also announced train services from Khulna to Kolkata through Petrapole from the Indian side and Benapole from the Bangladesh side. "Our agreement to open new border haats will empower border communities through trade and contribute to their livelihoods", he stated.

Hasina, whose Awami League is historically seen as more sympathetic to India than the arch-rival Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said the two countries will jointly produce a documentary on the 1971 War of Liberation of Bangladesh, a move that is likely to irk Pakistan.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister added that she would like to name one of the roads in New Delhi after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding leader of Bangladesh.


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