DHAKA, July 8 � India today said that Bangladesh has nothing to fear from giving it transit rights to access its land-locked north-eastern States, saying it is only for �peaceful purposes,� reports PTI.
�There is nothing to be feared by giving these transit. Transit is only for peaceful purposes,� said External Affairs Minister SM Krishna in reply to a question at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies.
He said if Bangladesh gives connectivity to India through its territory, the latter stands to gain in terms of market access to the north-eastern Indian States.
Krishna was responding to a question about fears in Bangladesh that India would use the transit right to transport weapons to north-eastern States where it had unresolved boundary problem with China and the insurgency.
In reply to another question, Krishna dispelled the perception in a section of Bangladesh about alleged anti-Bangladesh sentiments in India and asked �having being responsible for the birth of a nation, can we act against that country?�
He said there are hostile elements on either side and it is the responsibility of the governments of both countries to convey the message that they would work together for development.
Krishna said India and its neighbours should not be seen as �big boat, small boat syndrome�.
�India�s big size should not be held against it,� he said.
Krishna dismissed fears that India might ferry weapons to North-Eastern States using the transit through Bangladesh because of New Delhi�s unresolved border problem with China.
He said the �security of each country was of paramount importance and we have to think in terms of securing our borders� with China.
�We would like to work with all countries to sort out the boundary issue in a spirit of give and take�, Krishna said.
Pointing to the talks on boundary issue between Special Representatives of India and China, he said �it�s going to take some time before there is unanimity�.
Krishna recalled that Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had told him during his visit to China last year that �not a single bullet has been fired across Sino-India border� and said �this shows how responsibly and maturely India and China have behaved�.
Krishna said one visit by the Indian Prime Minister or the External Affairs Minister �may not dispel misgivings in some quarters in Bangladesh�.
�There is bound to be some perception�, he said adding �but this can be dispelled� by more people-to-people contact between India and Bangladesh�.
�It�s necessary that more and more people from India go to Bangladesh and more and more people from Bangladesh visit India to see how transparent we are�, he said.
About Bangladesh�s repeated complaint about killings of its nationals by BSF at the border, Krishna said �the BSF has been asked to exercise restraint and use non-lethal weapons depending on the situation.
Krishna said the India-Bangladesh border management was a �complicated� issue. �We have to secure issue our borders. It is also a fact that many criminals indulge in various activities at the border�.
�We will also have to take a humane point of view. We do not like killing. It creates an unpleasant feeling. We have to work out a strategy in consultations with other ministries�, he added.