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India, Bangladesh will ink Teesta pact: Hasina

India, Bangladesh will ink Teesta pact: Hasina

The Bangladeshi PM terms Manmohan Singh's recent visit to the country as really successful.

New York: Hailing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit to Bangladesh as "really successful," Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina has expressed optimism that her country will be able to work out the Teesta water sharing agreement with India.

India and Bangladesh had inked various pacts during Singh's visit earlier in September, but could not sign a deal on the Teesta water sharing.

However, Hasina said she was not disappointed that the two sides could not sign the Teesta water sharing deal during the visit.

"I am not that much disappointed because I feel we can solve this problem (Teesta water sharing) bilaterally and I am very much optimistic about it," Hasina, who is in New York to attend the 66th UN General Assembly, said at the Asia Society.

She said Bangladesh and India had developed an interim plan on sharing water.

Hasina reiterated that she was confident that through bilateral negotiations, the countries could resolve any issue.

Bangladesh "had a problem with India" on sharing of the Ganga waters but the countries resolved the issue and signed a 30-year treaty, she said, referring to the comprehensive bilateral treaty signed in December 1996 establishing a three-decade-long water-sharing arrangement.

On her country's relations with India, Hasina said the two share a common legacy through the legendary Rabindranath Tagore, who wrote the national anthems for both countries.

With India, Bangladesh has a "friendship and bondage" and "we should continue that," she said.

Expressing gratitude over Singh's generosity to agree to the establishment of connectivity of Bangladesh with Bhutan and Nepal, Hasina said this would help create a conducive atmosphere in the region.

She pointed out that Bangladesh had good relations with countries in its neighbourhood, including with Pakistan, with which she described Dhaka's relations as being "very good."

"We try to improve our relationship with every country and especially every neighbouring country," she said.

On the issue of terrorism, Hasina said her country "almost became a safe haven for terrorists."

However thanks to Dhaka's "zero tolerance" policy to terrorism, Hasina said it was ensured that no one used its territory to launch any kind of insurgent or terrorist activity against any country in the neighbourhood.

first published:September 21, 2011, 11:48 IST