Terror free Bangladesh a relief: Manmohan

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The two prime ministers met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Saturday night.

“India is relieved to see political stability and law-and-order improve in Bangladesh and terrorism under control . Now, terrorists would not be able to use Bangladesh for carrying out subversive activities against India,” Singh said.

The foreign ministers of both countries and their permanent representatives at UN were initially present in the meeting.

But later both the prime ministers had a one-to-one meeting for about 20 minutes.

After the meeting Bangladesh’s permanent representative to UN Dr AK Abdul Momen told bdnews24.com that soon after Manmohan Singh’s address at general assembly the pre-scheduled meeting took place at a booth in the assembly hall.

The ensuing elections in Bangladesh and other matters of bilateral importance figured in the meeting.

India’s failure to clear the Land Boundary Agreement and its additional protocol signed during Singh’s visit to Dhaka in 2011 and sign a treaty for equitable sharing of Teesta River waters loomed large as the meeting got underway.

The ruling Awami League has said these issues could be decisive during the upcoming parliament polls in Bangladesh.

India recently gave $800 million line of credit and $200 million in grants to Bangladesh, first of its kind to any country.

The two-way trade between the countries also soared due to zero duty access provided to many Bangladeshi products in the Indian market.

Stiff opposition from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had stalled both the Land Boundary Agreement and Teesta water sharing treaty.

Banerjee, however, recently hinted that her party would not oppose the land boundary deal, but gave no indication to the Teesta water sharing agreement.

Singh assured Hasina that New Delhi would introduce a bill to clear the Land Boundary Agreement in the winter session of the parliament in December.

Bangladesh is scheduled to go to parliamentary elections between Oct 25 and Jan 24.

Hasina informed Singh that nearly 7,000 polls were organised under the incumbent government in which the opposition-endorsed candidates took part and won.

Although the opposition BNP is raising concerns over the upcoming parliament polls, it is preparing to contest them, she told Singh.

Singh observed that a free and fair election in Bangladesh will help strengthen democracy in South Asia.

He lauded the Hasina government’s various efforts to uproot terrorism and militancy and said the people of Bangladesh had become active against terrorism.

About the ongoing trials of suspected war criminals, the Indian Prime Minister said he was satisfied since they were being conducted to international standards.

The two leaders also discussed various border-related issues, according to the Bangladesh’s permanent representative to UN.

Singh greeted Hasina on her birthday at the beginning of the 45-minute meeting. Hasina also congratulated Singh for his wonderful address at the UNGA.

The meeting took place at a booth at the UN headquarters although it was scheduled to take place at Hotel Palace.

Hasina went to New York on Sept 22 to attend the 68th UNGA. She is expected to return home on Sept 30.

In her Assembly address on Friday, she pitched strongly for trials of those who had allegedly collaborated with the Pakistan army to thwart Bangladesh’s struggle for freedom in 1971.

The successful completion of the ongoing trials would purge the nation of the stigma it had been carrying for 42 years, she had said.

Source: Bd news24

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