GUWAHATI, July 4 - China�s plans to divert water in the upper reaches of the Brahmaputra will not only be detrimental to India, but it will also affect Bangladesh, said Tripura Governor of Tathagata Roy.
Speaking during the valedictory session of the 8th India Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue, which concluded in Guwahati today, Roy raised the issue about apprehensions regarding China�s plans to build dams in the Siang river.
�India does not divert any water from the Brahmaputra. But, if China diverts water in the upper reaches, then Bangladesh is going to be affected. A look needs to be taken into this,� he said adding India and Bangladesh are �united and common in more than one way.�
�What is beneficial for India is beneficial for Bangladesh and what is beneficial for Bangladesh is also beneficial for India. Our common interests have to be identified. However, there are certain irritants in the relationship between the two countries, which also need to be addressed,� said Roy.
He said that the upsurge of fundamentalism in Bangladesh �from time to time� is a matter of concern, but praised the regime in Dhaka headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for its commitment towards protection of minorities.
Terming water sharing as a major irritant in the India-Bangla ties, he said as per international law all lower riparian states are entitled to have their share of water.
�India cannot deny water to Bangladesh. What will be the share can be worked out. If there is shortage, then even the shortage can be shared. We should have a comprehensive plan to share water so that due share can be allocated to Bangladesh,� he said. However, the Governor added that it was only his personal view.
Roy said that the government in Dhaka has done a lot to ensure that her country is not used as a sanctuary by militant outfits like ULFA and such groups have been hounded out from Bangladesh. �However, some Bangladeshi fundamentalists have found sanctuary in India,� he said adding India should take steps to grant medical visas to Bangladeshi nationals on an urgent basis, after verification.��
Speaking on the occasion, Md Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh, said the Indo-Bangladesh ties are not only long-lasting and time-tested, but there is also a huge possibility of increasing people-to-people contact between the two nations. Alam said the countries share a spirit of inclusiveness and the ties can be an example for building a more prosperous future for the South Asia region. �The triangle comprising North East India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan is among the poorest regions of the world. But there is a huge aspiration for peace and collective prosperity. The partnership between India and Bangladesh based of trust and sovereignty can be an example for the rest of the world,� Alam said.