GUWAHATI, June 13 � The Bangladesh High Commissioner to India, Tarik Ahmad Karim, today said that enhanced regional connectivity was critical to facilitating a sustainable development process in South Asia, and that India and Bangladesh were key players in effecting the desired transformation.
Karim also said that the North-East which shared the longest boundary with Bangladesh had started to figure prominently in Bangladesh�s scheme of things vis-�-vis bilateral ties with India.
The diplomat, who was addressing a gathering at the University of Science and Technology, Meghalaya, under the ERD Foundation, to mark the opening of its Centre for International Studies, also made a strong pitch for having a South Asian water resource authority for judicious and equitable sharing of the water resources � such as the Brahmaputra � of the region.
�Water will replace oil as the cause of human conflict� such an authority will be responsible for measuring and monitoring the use of water resources in the region for ensuring strict adherence to the norms of water sharing,� he said.
Stressing the need for giving a further boost to the improved ties between Bangladesh and India in general and Bangladesh and the North-East in particular, Karim said that things were progressing in the right direction with greater transit facilities between the two regions of late.
�Landlocked North-East is special to Bangladesh, as we share a common bonding on many fronts�rail connectivity with Tripura is to be resumed while direct bus service between Dhaka and Shillong and Dhaka and Guwahati will also materialize in the near future,� he said.
Karim said that the time had come for both the nations to go beyond bilateral trade and commerce and to address developmental issues in diverse spheres to the advantage of either.
�Energy, education, agriculture and tourism are some of the areas that offer tremendous scope for mutual cooperation which in turn can ensure wide-ranging benefits,� he added.