Bangladesh to sign deals with India for $5 billion loan, electricity

“Delighted to welcome H.E. Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, on her State Visit to India”, Modi said in a tweet later.

Bangladesh, under Prime Minister Hasina, has adopted March 25 as Genocide Day and will urge the United Nations to declare this day as World Genocide Day.

Both the leaders are expected to ink over 20 agreements ranging from ICT to defence cooperation during the visit.

For Hasina, it was not easy to get popular support to make a deal with Manmohan Singh, who was personally admired by the Bangladeshis. According to the report, infiltration by Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami (HUJI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) extremists into the Indian border provinces of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura witnessed a three-fold increase in 2016 compared to 2015.

The deals would include, among others, an increase in trade, cooperation on nuclear energy, distribution of water from common rivers and expansion of military cooperation, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali said this week.

Hasina will join a reception to be hosted by India Foundation in her honour and attend a business programme at Hotel Tajmahal on Monday.

The second MoU, the Joint Secretary said, would allow Bangladesh to buy defence equipment from India. “If Bangladesh signs this agreement with India, we may lose this friend and become weak”.

Teesta is a very important river, perhaps the most important one, in Bangladesh’s northeast.

Sensitive to these concerns, New Delhi is not willing to risk putting the sharing of Teesta waters on the agenda when the chances are that West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee will nearly certainly torpedo any efforts to negotiate an agreement.

India starts the commercial supply of high speed diesel (HSD) to Bangladesh today with an inaugural consignment of 2,200 metric tonnes. She is of the view that with the Teesta Barrage, Bangladesh’s largest irrigation project, running, that country does not deserve more water.

Launch of trans-shipment operations combining riverine and land routes a year ago have enabled India to deliver goods through Bangladesh to Nepal and Bhutan in a third of previous time and reduced transport cost by nearly half. In the past, Bangladesh has accused India of having a big brotherly attitude toward it while India accused Bangladesh of acting against Indian interests by giving sanctuary to insurgents active in its northeastern region.

There is no doubt that there is an increasing anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh.

She has also claimed the Centre has not consulted her over the issue.

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

 

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