Dhaka, Sep 5
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s two-day trip to Bangladesh is a historic visit and has “all the potentials of becoming a major turning point in bilateral relations”, said a leading daily here Monday adding that: “Anything short of visionary actions on the part of India will be highly disappointing for us.”
The editorial in the Daily Star appeared a day ahead of Manmohan Singh’s Dhaka trip. He will be accompanied by chief ministers of four Indian states.
“We look forward to the forthcoming visit of the Indian premier to Bangladesh as much more than just a visit by a leader of a big neighbour.
“It is a historic visit and has all the potentials of becoming a major turning point in the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India with wider implications for the region. For us, there is every reason to look expectantly to the visit, and to what it might deliver for Bangladesh.”
Referring to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in 2010, it said: “It has been 20 months since the signing of the joint communique, but there has been very little of substance coming from India since then, a view that is shared also by many in India.”
It noted that there was a “lot at stake for Bangladesh in the success of the forthcoming visit of Singh because, for us, failure is not an option”.
The editorial went on to say that “a good deal of the success depends on how India addressees the longstanding issues of Bangladesh’s concern which mainly are: border issues, trade, transit, water sharing, particularly the Teesta waters, and security”.
“…we understand that there is progress as far as enclaves are concerned but 6.5 km still remains un-demarcated, which should be finally resolved.
“As for trade, we understand that the negative list has been shortened, but we would like it to be done away with altogether.”
It added: “As for transit, our intentions are very clear. However, there is need for infrastructural development for which we expect Indian investment through grant or easy term loans and guaranteed tariff.”
“On its part, Bangladesh has delivered. And we have done it with an open heart. The onus is now on India for making the visit a success, a success that will have far wider ramification than merely Bangladesh-India relations. Anything short of visionary actions on the part of India will be highly disappointing for us.”