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India visit brief, but very fruitful: Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her recent visit to India was very successful, though it was brief. “The visit was short but very fruitful. I think this visit will play a very pivotal role in strengthening the existing excellent relations between India and Bangladesh,” said Sheikh Hasina while addressing the press conference in Dhaka to apprise the local media of the outcome of her June 21-22 state visit to India.

Replying to a question on Teesta River Project, she said her government will receive the most beneficial proposal for Bangladesh and its people over implementing the Teesta master plan project, reports Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). “We have taken Teesta projects. China and India have given separate proposals to implement the project. We must accept the proposal which will be more beneficial for the people of our country,” she said. “But, we must consider how much the project is applicable for my country, how much its return will be helpful for the welfare of the people after its completion alongside the capability to repay the loan,” she further said.

The prime minister said India expressed desire to send a technical team in this regard, adding that Bangladesh will sit with their technical team. She, however, said Bangladesh has a longstanding issue over Teesta river water sharing with India. “So, it will be easy for Bangladesh if India does the Teesta project. In that case, we won’t need to talk about the Teesta water sharing always,” she added. “If there is a problem, there is a solution as well,” she expressed hope.

About balancing relations between India and China, Sheikh Hasina said there is nothing to balance as her government is following the foreign policy, “Friendship to all, malice to none” in its fifth term, four in a row, reports BSS. India is very important for Bangladesh as they along with the Freedom Fighters shed blood for the independence of Bangladesh during Liberation War in 1971, she highlighted.

She also said she didn’t see any problem with maintaining relations with India and China. The premier said she went to New Delhi as she was first invited to visit India to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi and later invited for a state visit to India. Now she will visit China as that country also invited her, she added.

Coming down heavily on those who criticise the rail connectivity, Sheikh Hasina said everyone should keep in mind that she does not sell Bangladesh as they liberated the country. She said both the countries are resuming the rail connectivity among them which is beneficial for trade and commerce and socio-economic development for the two nations.

During the press conference, she said everyone should keep in mind that India was the only allied force in the world which left the country they helped to be liberated, with their arms and ammunition.

Replying to a query, Sheikh Hasina said she has good friendly relations with every political party and all in India. “We’ve a family tie with Pranab Babu and his children. There is also a family bond between the family of Indira Gandhi and our family, which is above politics and all things,” she said.

The Prime Minister said the two quick and brief visits to India will enhance the bilateral relations. “The visits will open new doors for socio-economic development,” she added.

Navalsang Parmar(Dhaka)

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Last Updated: 13th Jul 2024