FM has no knowledge of Teesta deal

first_imgForeign minister AH Mahmood Ali. File PhotoAmid the media speculation that the Teesta water-sharing deal will be signed with India before the next general election for an interim period, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali on Tuesday, said he does not know anything about it.”Sorry, I don’t know. I have no comment,” he said while responding to a query from reporters at a briefing at the foreign ministry on the upcoming visit of prime minister Sheikh Hasina to Canada.Foreign secretary M Shahidul Haque was also present at the press conference.Earlier, a leading Bangla daily reported that Bangladesh and India will sign the Teesta water-sharing deal for an interim period of three years before the next national elections in Bangladesh.Before prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent Kolkata visit, the foreign minister had said there was no progress over the Teesta water-sharing deal yet and the purpose of the visit was something different.”You’ll come to know about it in due time,” he had told reporters when asked about Teesta deal progress, without elaborating further.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina had separate meetings with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on 25 and 26 May respectively.After the visit, Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the current Indian government still has one year left and their government cannot be tagged with failure in terms of resolving the Teesta water-sharing deal with Bangladesh.”Our government has completed four years in office and still entire one is left. So, not reaching the Teesta treaty cannot yet be called a failure of this government,” she had told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi.The Indian side said no resolution over the Teesta issue is possible without taking all stakeholders on board.West Bengal is the main stakeholder and they are talking frequently to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.Mamata in April last year gave an alternative proposal for supplying the waters of the Torsa river instead of the Teesta as West Bengal will suffer if Teesta water has to be shared.She said the federal Indian government cannot bypass the West Bengal government as it is the state which has to share the Teesta waters and has to weigh pros and cons of how much it will be affected by the proposed deal.The issue of bringing back one of the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman — Noor Chowdhury — will also be discussed during Prime Minister’s visit to Canada.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her entourage will leave Dhaka for Canada on 7 June. She will return home on 12 June.Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau announced that his country will welcome several world leaders, including Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina, to the G7 Summit to take part in a special outreach session.last_img