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Dialogue only way to solve water disputes: Bangladesh envoy

By The Assam Tribune

New Delhi, June 9 (IANS): Disputes over the crucial issue of water can only be solved by dialogue, Bangladesh's High Commissioner Tariq Ahmed Kari said here on Tuesday.

Speaking at a roundtable discussions on water security in South Asia, the ambassador in Delhi noted that "muscle-flexing" never helped. "Our experiences show that it has never helped. Our tough stand with India did not work. Things started moving when we sat down and started discussing the issue with India," he said.

The discussion was organised by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with Germany-based Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung.

Referring to Indian concerns over reports of the Chinese move to divert water upstream of the Brahmaputra in Tibet, Kari said India was in the same position as Bangladesh was earlier, when the former didn't not understand the latter's concern over water.

He suggested that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) could have a new paradigm of sub-regional grouping. For example, there could be three groups: one - India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan; two - India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and the Seychelles; and three - India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

These groups can work much effectively bringing together all the stake holders like states, local governments and people to solve issues which were "hostage to the partition syndrome," he said.

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