Modi assures Hasina on Teesta, LBA deals
India government is working vigorously to seal deals on Teesta River Water Sharing Agreement and Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) with Bangladesh to boost bilateral relation between the two countries.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told his Bangladeshi counterpart Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today after the inaugural meeting of the 18th Saarc Summit in Nepal.
Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, media adviser to Bangladesh premier, told at a press conference after the meeting.
The two countries will also share more information to curb the emergence of militancy in the both sides, he said.
The two prime ministers also exchanged greetings during the meeting and shared about the prevailing political situations, Chowdhury said.
Meanwhile our correspondent from New Delhi reports, in a key step towards implementing the land boundary agreement with Bangladesh, a parliamentary panel of India is learnt to have approved a bill to give effect to the deal.
The "unanimous" report of the Standing Committee on the Ministry of External Affairs, headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, on the Constitution (119th Amendment) Bill, 2013 is likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha, upper House of parliament next week, informed sources told Daily Star here today.
They said the report has taken into cognisance most of the issues raised by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress which had reservations against the accord for which an enabling agreement was signed by India and Bangladesh in September 2011 during the visit to Dhaka by then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The issues, raised by Trinamool Congress, primarily relate to protection of national interests, the interests of all states bordering Bangladesh and those of the people in the 161 adversely-held enclaves who are likely to be affected by the proposed accord. There are about 50,000 people in the enclaves.
The sources said safeguards had been added in the proposed constitution amendment bill to ensure that the federal Indian government takes the state governments concerned into confidence while implementing the land boundary agreement.
The Congress-led UPA-II government had last December managed to introduce the Constitution amendment bill to facilitate the swap of enclaves with Bangladesh, amid din and high drama which saw members of Trinamool Congress and Asom Gana Parishad trying to snatch copies of the proposed legislation from the then External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. It was later referred to the Standing Committee.
The bill amends the First Schedule of the Indian Constitution to give effect to the India-Bangla agreement on acquiring and transfer of territories between the two countries on May 16, 1974. The First Schedule of the Constitution defines the area of each state and Union territory which together constitute India.
The legislation is aimed at ratifying the LBA between India and Bangladesh under the Indira-Mujib pact of 1974 to exchange areas and people on either side of the border.
India will exchange 111 enclaves measuring 17,160 acres to Bangladesh and receive 51 enclaves covering 7,110 acres. Almost 51,000 people reside in these enclaves.
The territories of Indian states involved in the exchange are in Assam, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Tripura.
The constitution amendment bill is required to be passed by Indian parliament because it involves exchange of land.
Hasina meets Nawaz Sharif
Sheikh Hasina also held a meeting with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and discussed over several issues including bilateral matters.
Hasina upheld her achievement in the country’s power sector during the meeting, Chowdhury he added.
Apart from this, Hasina also held meeting with her counterparts Nepal and Maldives.